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Emmanuel Lafont: light amid darkness

Emmanuel Lafont is exhibiting a series of large-format drawings at the Yusto/Giner gallery.
Emmanuel Lafont is exhibiting a series of large-format drawings at the Yusto/Giner gallery. / Josele
  • The Argentinian artist, who is based in Malaga, has created an impressive display of drawings in The Great Light series

According to optical science black is the lack of colour, but who needs colour when one's life palpitates around the point of a pencil or a piece of charcoal? Who wants colour, holding light in the palm of their hand and transferring it from there onto an enormous canvas or a small piece of paper with the same passion, the same truth that nobody fears because nobody needs to?

And it is exactly that, the beauty, the extraordinary domination of the technique of drawing and the nude sensitivity of artifice which rules over the works in La Gran Luz, the impressive exhibition which Emmanual Lafont opened recently at the Yusto/Giner gallery in Marbella. A cadence of large drawings, like bells at midnight. An example of art with bare chest, without the use of colour, because here there is just charcoal and paper and talent.

"It has all been very intuitive. I think this is the first time I've worked in this way. Normally I have an idea and develop it until I can transfer what I have in my head. This time I just let it take me. Maybe it has something to do with the way I feel," said Lafont, who has recently moved house, married and has perhaps become more serene.

Because the work of Argentinian-born Lafont, who settled in Malaga years ago, has gradually been stripped of accessories. The scenes have been taken back to basics, the subjects have made the journey from black upon white to a white figure on a black background.

"Maybe it has been a type of rebellion. I often ask myself why I always work in black and white and don't use colour more. I was obsessed with that for a long time, to such an extent that I did that work all in colour for Casa Sostoa. It was a way of answering that question," the artist explainsed. "But then I didn't want to continue using colour for other projects. I decided on black. Deep black. And just black. In fact, I have recreated myself because many of my compositions now have more black than figure."

The ballerina is Rebeca Carrera, with whom Lafont worked for a while, improvising together. The result is these impressive drawings which can be seen at the Yusto/Giner gallery until the end of February.

Lafont says he used to work in layers, "piling things on top of each other so they meant something, but this time what I have done is scratch away at the darkness until something appeared". And what has appeared is light. Life. Pure beauty. Because with Lafont there is no colour, and what's more, he doesn't need it.