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The restless, creative maturity of Andrés Mérida

Andrés Mérida with one of his works.
Andrés Mérida with one of his works. / ANTONIO J. GUERRERO
  • The Malaga-based painter is exhibiting a collection of his works created over the last ten years, at the MAD museum in Antequera until 24 January

The pandemic has done little to destroy Andrés Mérida’s easy smile and the joy while he reviews the works that mark the last ten years of his artistic career is apparent, even through his mask.

The exhibition, Del Trazo al Garabato, was inaugurated in mid-October at the Museo de Arte de la Diputación (MAD) in Antequera and demonstrates his stylistic evolution in a technique that he himself calls ‘scribble’ (garabato).

“Mature? I don’t know... I think that’s when you reach the end of it all,” he laughs. “I think I’m at a very good point in a very important research process at the moment. Perhaps, in that sense, it’s possible to speak of pictorial maturity, although on the other hand it is true that I am very restless and perhaps after this stage investigating scribble I’ll want to look for something else”.

“Perhaps people don’t see evolution, maybe because of the world we live in. An artist doesn’t evolve like dressing for the change of seasons, you put them on, you take them off, and then they’re out of fashion. It may take years for an idea to mature,” explains Mérida who is displaying 40 pieces at MAD until January. The works include drawings, mixed media, digital works on canvas and projections of digital work.

Ególatra, mixedmedia.

Ególatra, mixedmedia. / sur

“I record the creative process and take two or three minute videos,” says Mérida, very open to the possibilities that new technologies in general and social networks in particular can offer his work.

“In spite of everything that is happening, I can’t complain, really. I thought it was going to be harder. During confinement I worked hard at looking into using modern technology. It’s a daily task and little by little I’m reaping the benefits,” he says.

From canvas to digital

Some of these digital compositions have made the leap to canvas and wall projections. The characters created from Mérida’s ‘scribbles’ include Christ, a flamenco dancer, a bored man who hides his face... Mérida remains faithful to his gallery of protagonists rooted in his imagination.

The author defends himself, “When I do a project like this, which allows me to look back on the work I have done in the past, I realise I have many subjects, not just flamenco or bull fighting.”

There are the romantic scenes of Y Se Quedó Dormida (2019) and ‘Por amor al arte’ (2020), the enigmatic ‘Papa negro’ (2018) and the scene from ‘Hermandad’ (2011) in which you can sense the roofless columns of the Baños del Carmen with the maritime façade of the capital as a backdrop.

“I always look,” explains the author, “at individual characters and at our roots. This is what motivates me.”

And for Andrés Mérida, this motivation is shown in his paintings.”