Alberto Corazón, a world inhabited by images

Alberto Corazón, en su estudio de Madrid en 2009.
Alberto Corazón, in his study Madrid in 2009. Bernardo Pérez

On the artist’s table there is a whole universe: pencils, graffiti, brushes, acrylic tubes, oil sticks of various colors, the spatula, the ruler, a pile of sketched sheets, the latest books he has bought and those of Pound, Kavafis and Perse, which always remain with him. And, it could not be missing !, an ashtray full of cigarette butts, the pack of cigarettes and the gin-tonic .

When Alberto Corazón faces the blank canvas, however, he does not use the sketches, nor the notebooks, or the annotations that you have previously written on paper. He does not need it. His brain flows and directs his hand, which executes the painting. As their titles justify: everything has been previously registered, “in a fold of memory.”

Boceto para el embarcadero de mineral.
Sketch for the ore jetty. Alberto Corazón

“Painting gives me freedom,” he said, “writing makes me suffer.” The words come out painfully from his interior, they connect with internal caves that he does not want to remember, while the brushes fly freely over the canvas. They are curved and tortuous brushstrokes, energetic and powerful, that build paintings of vibrant colors. No matter the subject: still lifes, cliffs or sand gardens, the entire work is permeated by its resounding and characteristic style. His is a repetitive and constant iconography that reappears over the years, asking unanswered questions that force him to keep looking.

For this exhibition we have selected some unpublished works, unknown to the public because they have never been shown. The doubt arises, immediate. Why did they stay in the workshop? For such a prolific artist, producer of so many different disciplines, it is logical that not all have been exhibited. Who knows the reason why he never returned to them, maybe it was my fault, since, once a semester, he cleared the house shouting “let’s tidy up!” Then, Alberto trembled, it was what he hated the most, because his paintings disappeared, all the ones that were piled up on the wall, turned into stratigraphic layers by the passage of time. He was a man who took over all spaces. He invaded the house with his works. As he did not like working alone in his bright and spacious studio, he enjoyed sharing the same physical space and populating our house with his paintings. Everything was under their colonization: the garden table, the dining room table, the living room walls, the porch walls. It did not leave a square meter of our house free, the paintings piled up and languished, leaning on any wall.

'Embarcadero de mineral. Anochecer'.
‘Ore jetty. To become night’. Alberto Corazón

My operation did not last long, after enjoying order for a couple of days or three, at most, the walls would disappear again behind huge blank canvases, ready to be painted. If Alberto Corazón had been an orderly and methodical person, he would have rescued those recently transferred to the warehouse. But it was neither one nor the other, so what was not in sight, was forgotten.

The paintings in this exhibition are not discarded, they are not abandoned sketches or failed paintings. Quite the opposite. They are unfinished paintings that offer us the opportunity to see the genesis of his works, an X-ray of his creative process. In all of them you can see the initial strokes executed with enthusiasm, with a strong vital pulse, canvases where he limits his ideas. The next day, the work changed places because a new project had occurred to him, more powerful than the one of the previous night. And he began to paint on the new canvas, which already covered the previous one. Because a trait of his personality was that he consumed life at breakneck speed and what did not keep up, was left behind forever.

In them we see a tireless Alberto, full of energy, full of strength and energy, brimming with images. So many that, in order not to let them escape, he hastens to capture them even on the back of the canvas, or on a table, or on cardboard. Any support is useful to remember.

His greatest pleasure was to paint, and he did it without ceasing, since his ability work was surprising. Day and night, I never saw him out of work. When selecting works for exhibitions, it was not necessary to resort to the warehouse. “What for?” He said, “I’ll take care of it.” And, calmly and enthusiastically, he would paint an entire exhibition.

An inveterate night owl, he surrendered to the darkness that accompanied him with its mystery, surrounded by the intense smell of the garden, by the salamanders that climbed the wall, by the hooting of the owl and the sound of the leaves of the trees, always longing for cliffs.

Ana Arrambari, Alberto Corazón’s widow, is a writer.

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