MIGUEL MACAYA OR THE MYSTERY OF THE SHADOWS

Miguel Macaya's world is not what it seems. Although his works are characterized by classic and easily identifiable themes, his paintings go far beyond the figures he represents.

By this I mean that their bullfighters, their dogs, their birds and their still lifes have something unfathomable that both troubles us and intrigues us at the same time. When one looks at his paintings, one is struck by that sensation of strangeness which, from the very first moment, traps the spectator's gaze, as if each of his works contained some arcane secret.

The curious thing about the case is that, often, the mystery is born of something apparently as simple as a few apples that emerge from pictorial matter, or even that are confused with it. At other times, the enigma arises from some unusual association, such as that dark character disguised behind a diver's mask or the penguin walking on the pavement of a modernist house.

The appearance of various animals, such as birds, cows or dogs can also be quite surprising. At least at first glance, because we are not dealing with themes or references usual in current creation, which tends to go for other paths.

This is precisely one of the main interests of Miguel Macaya's painting, his total detachment from fashions and his links with the daily reality that so often obsesses young artists. In this sense, Macaya seems to us to be a singular artist, who advances against the current, although without deliberately proposing it.

For Miguel Macaya, painting is not a sounding board to reflect the world around him, but an expressive need that is expressed in timeless themes. Even the portraits of anonymous people and the figures of bullfighters that fascinate him so much do not correspond to an express desire to refer to something real. Rather they are a pretext to develop that taste of yours for the conscientious work of pictorial matter.

In today's art world. Macaya is a rare avis, who seeks and finds inspiration in her own studio and loves above all the art of painting. It is something inherent to his own personality and the artist remains faithful to this initial vocation without ever letting himself be influenced by the dominant tendencies. Nor does he hide his passion for the great masters of Spanish painting, from Ribera to Solana and Goya. In many of his paintings there is a certain taste for tenebrism, which is translated by that almost obsessive way he has of using black. An omnipresent colour that allows him to play with chiaroscuro to give his works that mysterious dimension that intrigues the spectator so much.

Through the meticulous work of the brushstroke, the birds, the dogs, the apples and the silhouette of the characters are diluted in the intensity of the matter, until they acquire an almost unreal presence. Even, in certain cases, figurative references disappear and the image ends up becoming a true abstraction. The artist resolves all this with extreme sobriety, because Macaya avoids falling into grandiloquence at all times. In his portraits of bullfighters made on white paper, he often dispenses with the nuances of material work to condense the full force of the drawing into the intensity of the paint or black ink.

His is a wisely meditated ongoing effort to assume the heritage of the past - while many current creators insist on ignoring it - and, at the same time, to try to forge his own pictorial universe. In this way Miguel Macaya has chosen to follow his particular path of solitude, similar in everything to that of his enigmatic creatures, who have not just come out of the "heart of darkness".

"The painter must not bring to the canvas what he sees, but what will be seen." - Paul Valéry