El Turista | Coco González Lohse
Curatorial Text | Carolina Castro Jorquera
29 April | 10 June – 2020

Viewing Room | ARTSY.



The Tourist | Curatorial Text


With an always playful and passionate aesthetic, even in moments of hopelessness, the work of Coco González witnesses a deeply personal relationship with painting as a possibility of existence, as a way of dealing with day-to-day tensions and the moving strength of reality. His latest paintings have a travel format: they do not have the ambition of a great work, rather they look like the letters of an oracle, containing an unsuspected destination. They are like postcards of a melancholic tourist who longs for the energy of voyage, not the hustle and bustle of airports or the Caribbean paradise, but the romanticism and mysticism of an explorer in search of distant lands who, without knowing it, goes on to meet himself. Through them, we are invited to make an imaginary and mystical journey, where painting acts as a bridge between different moments in the same story.


It’s not by chance that there are thirty-three works, a Kabbalistic number that symbolises love for all that exists, and represents the destiny of humanity. Fire is an important part of this imaginary world, having the frate focu (Father Fire) as a symbol of home. The alchemists interpreted fire as the cycle of encounter and disagreement, the awakening of the soul that accompanies us along the path of consciousness, transmuter of the journey from life to death as an eternal return. With fire as a companion, ‘The Tourist’, the main character in these paintings, stands at magnitude, patiently preparing for the start of something new. Another interesting symbolic aspect, and that González began to include in his work several years ago, are these very distinctive characters who, in some way, embody their own experiences, and that throughout these paintings appear nude, with pointed black masks, or hooded; sometimes alone, other times gathered in a clan or tribe.


The titles of the paintings are essential to lead this journey. There’s a group of them under the label of ‘Neo’ (the new), which manifests itself in the possibility of a ‘Neo Reality’ (Neo Realidad), accompanied by a ‘Neo Ecology’ (Neo Ecología) and the myth of a ‘Neo Medusa’ that emerge in the light of a penumbra that floods the landscape awaiting the arrival of the Aurora. For its part, The Sign (La Señal) is not a divine call but an encounter in the depths of the inner landscape with the light that lives in darkness, the lumen-naturae, the spark that ignites the primordial fire and that makes the darkness itself not be absolutely black. Hence, Destiny (El Destino) is presented as a raft that floats adrift in the current, in a sea that rests from a recent storm that finally carries this naked character towards the shore, where he will meet The Caravan (La Caravana), and where, along with his peers, he will dream of the possibility of a new home. Farewells, escapes, arrivals, agreements, oblivion, waiting follow; each one is a possibility in this travel oracle loaded with clues, archetypes, and visions.


Carolina Castro Jorquera
April 2020