Wed. Apr 24th, 2019

The disturbing reality of Tetsuya Ishida

The disturbing reality of Tetsuya Ishida


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A look keeps in its silence what words, sometimes, are not able to tell. Hide the thoughts that can not find another way to escape. And with his gaze, the Japanese artist Tetsuya Ishida, leads us to the dull eyes of his characters who do not dare to look. Thus, the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid houses the exhibition '' Autorretrato de otro '' at the Palacio de Velázquez, a complete retrospective of its ten years dedicated to painting, for the first time in Spain. In the course of his short life, this artist lived the distilled bitterness of the successive economic crises that occurred since 1973 and that materialized in the recession that Japan suffered after the speculative bubble of 1991 broke out. As a result of these events, it happened to be part of what many would call "the lost generation", those young people whose lack of expectations in life led them to live in a skeptical way with the sometimes hard and changing, environment in which they had to grow. In this way, his inner world becomes reflective in each of his paintings, which have a strong social and, at the same time, personal component. The exhibition, which brings together a selection of 70 works and drawings made between 1996 and 2004, reflects the obsessions of the artist, submerged in his particular aesthetic universe.

Very close to the New European Objectivity and impregnated, of course, the Japanese tradition of manga, in its realism brings us closer to a reality full of metaphors. In each of his paintings, the lonely and apathetic characters, tend to be the same, with the same look that does not look at the viewer, or those around him. Are alone. The main protagonist is, undoubtedly, the suit and tie worker who dedicates his life to the firm that employs him. Without dreams, nor aspirations, condemned to live for the consumer society that surrounds it. This reveals his soul, which takes us through a series of phases, in which he talks about the school as an instrument of social control, and employees who have lost all connection to the product of their work. Likewise, he delves into "the larva situation," as the curator of the exhibition, Teresa Velázquez, tells us, which continues: "I speak of the insect that is looking for a way out, but finds it difficult to communicate with the outside world and that, finally, dissociates the character from his own species. '' Faced with this feeling of isolation and suffocation, the work of this creator becomes disturbing, while trapping us. In this way, through encapsulated figures and claustrophobic spaces, with a powerful dehumanization of people and between anthropomorphic machines, the Japanese artist hits us with questions for which there is no easy answer.

Deceased in 2005 by a possible suicide, at 32 years of age, he has left us a great artistic production that, from April 12 to September 8, can be seen in the Palacio de Velázquez. Most of the works exhibited on its white walls come from Japan, especially from museums such as the Shizuoka Prefectural of Art, the Hiratsuka Museum of Art and The National Museum of Modern Art. In turn, others belong to private collections of Singapore , United States, Hong Kong and Korea, including, in addition, a set of notebooks, notes and sketches that reflect Ishida's reflections in the first person. A way to recover his gaze, to see reality through his eyes.

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