STOA Art Gallery presents, from the 27th of February until the 22nd of March, the individual exhibition of Conchi Alvarez, “The Andalusia I love”. Born in Castilla and Andalusian by adoption, lives and loves a land that welcomes those who come, with open arms, a land that invites you to linger, to enjoy life. The exhibition is divided into four sections: the Andalusian woman, flamenco woman ritual, the singer and the Alcazaba of Malaga. They belong to series that are not finished, which she works intermittently, and that show great love and an endless fascination with Andalusia.
The artist presents the world of women with an intimate and friendly vision. Queens of the canvas or board, display all female complexity, full of exuberant sensuality, without losing delicacy. Sovereigns who dream impossible scenes, always aware of their beauty, becoming Raphaelitism icons of “internal representation” of “the perfect femininity” in the words of Panofsky. And the whimsical look of the artist focuses on what is one of her fascinations: the world of flamenco, being one of the most important series of her painting the Andalusian woman, flamenco woman. In the words of the artist herself “a woman apparently like others, current and normal, that when the ritual begins and she puts on her stunning dress, her comb, flowers on her hair, her exaggerated earrings and she looks in the mirror, she is not herself, she is like a bride on her wedding day, she sees herself beautiful, more than beautiful, gorgeous, and it elevates her to the vantage point of immortal beauty and right there she becomes a real goddess, with power and an aura of a desired female who wipe of their feet all the men around her…and there is no other woman but her, because all eyes belong to her. Naturally she is aware of the transience of that feeling because as a Flamenco Cinderella, she knows that when the bells chime the end of the Fair she will be sent back to the world of reality, insecurity, love life, in the end, to normality. This metamorphosis, this fascinating transformation ritual, much more complex than it apparently seems, is the main theme of the pictorial series. The series begins with “Preparing the Ritual”, a work still in progress, on the Female Ritual, whose end, could very well be “The Good Plantá”. As a prototype of Andalusian female, she knows her attributes and her power to seduce. She does not look with provocative arrogance as Carmen de Merimé, but from a vantage point far superior in power. It is the result of centuries of overlapping cultures, seizing the best of each invader, knowing that it will become…”invaded”. Powerful, intelligent, she develops an almost religious ritual dominated by the Mediterranean sensuality. “The Beginning of the Ritual”, along with “Putting on the dress”, unfold abundant sensuality and delight in the formal beauty, in this woman who chooses and wears her battle armor, secure of the resounding final result.
Of special interest is the section dedicated to the singer Ana Fargas, extraordinary artist in the world of flamenco with which the artist has done two performances: “Song becomes Color I” and “Song becomes Color II”. The most personal, deeply felt of these paintings is undoubtedly “The Nana Flamenca”, the lullaby of a mother first invaded by sadness, fear, pain…giving way, then to hope, to vital optimism, settling into a universal song about motherhood. Paint and Song united in a deep empathy generating an iconic piece of music. “Falling in Love” recreates the essence of feminine seduction: a turn, an airy move of the shawl…and just one look to seduce the man she loves. “Find Out”, however, is the warning to the loved one in the game of seduction.
Finally, the exhibition features eight works of art on the Alcazaba in Malaga, all capture moments in this reinterpreted Muslim fortress in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Works of art related to a Southern luminismo Taifa world that reflects this palace-fortress. Inseparable from this austere architecture is its complement, the other architecture, the nearby landscaping and, of course, the delight in the random and chaotic urbanization of magical reminiscences, always so suggestive.