Who questions the name of the things before seeing them? Who knows things before seeing them
In all aesthetic manifestations there is a strong ontological conflict: how to mark the ubiquity of the border between silence and shadow. Perhaps by looking with your eyes closed? The human gaze seems to be tired of looking with the eyes, a large number of positions of thought and new contenders for “philosophical paradigms” are participating in new dogmatic currents and structures less attached to Western thought. Visual accident is being sought out.
After looking at the light so much, when it is absent being is absent, as well. Eyes have not yet learned to see.
The work of María José Romero takes part of a difficult regime of emotional demands. Not everything has access to her inner core and I find that to assimilate her aesthetic case requires a severe foregrounding of the other senses. Before observing her strokes I suggest you dig through ribs of anxiety and maybe a little in the warp of despair.
Although according to taxonomic understanding we could place her discursive aesthetic under the heading of “abstract,” it seems to me that María José Romero is closer to the opposite. The formal treatment given to an image doesn’t directly depend upon its essential nature, but instead the hermeneutic interpretation on the part of the person who suffers inspiration. To view a credible image with elements of reality doesn’t make it purely figurative, and an image that lacks a known form doesn’t automatically fall into the visual obviousness of “abstract.” It happens that there are forms that can be considered “real” in the particular semantics of any human being, and portraying them with sincerity would be, in a parallel plane, purely figurative.
María José Romero portrays forms that in her unconscious are more than mere abstractions, and should be considered in such case “emotional furniture,” “mental landscape” or in some cases “portraits" of her crudest ideas, because an idea has a shape per se independent of its intention or final destination.
Thus, I believe that the work of this painter translates to more verbal levels a collection of images that are not abstracted from the outside but are instead inner figures.
She collects attempts to fly, notorious because in every stroke minor areas of brushstrokes shine through that push the color they bear, with the neurosis of someone for whom the ground is not enough to walk on and who looks at the immensity suspiciously.
For every chromatic note on her palette there is a polar reference in the extreme margins of her compositions that highlight chorally the unsaid of its unnamed forms.
If form is supposedly a counsel for essence, María José changes the equation. To bestow upon her discourse a pretentious “non- formalism” betrays by an aesthetic reminiscence a retractable truth that can only be appreciated when we no longer look at the work. The artist doesn’t use her eyes when she paints.
The best aesthetic exercise in order to get hopelessly involved in her pictorial work is look at her works without preconceived ideas and to let the picture itself dictate when we remove our eyes from its flesh. Even in my case I have experienced guilt and shame remembering the lustful morphology of her compositions, reminding me of the pleasure of voyeurism.
Another inherent feature in the work of María José is the driving force she gives to the movement of her sketches. In every painting there is a kinetic religiosity, a motor of scaffolding of fleeting reasons that become entangled explaining themselves, without losing the compositional composure and the neurologic breath that characterizes her work. In all her work we find fore-grounded the words she invents while she weaves her nodular language.
María José is not looking to create an artistic legislation nor forge a new scholastic art, and of course she does not bother with the historical reminders that her work decants.
María José’s work transcends its own dimensions. On the one hand it rubs up against neuroscience of thought while on the other it weeps over the passage of time.
I would like to think of a way to verbally translate all the morphology of her painterly work. In my attempt, however, I only rescue a strong dose of anemia and anxiety.
Mexico City, 2004