My subjects tend to share a common denominator: the exaltation of undervalued female activities–of all the housework chores which, added to a woman’s professional activity, make her twice enslaved to a patriarchal system. In addition, rational education has stripped women of the comfort of magic (religion), steering them towards scientific resources (anti-anxiety medication). I protest, femininely and peacefully, by painting “recipe-paintings”, “sweater-paintings”, Madonnas and saints… like Cortázar’s Cronopios.
Perspective has never helped me to solve a composition; it represents a technical vision that is not mine. The outburst of colors that I pour onto my canvases is the dream that allows me to survive in a hostile patriarchal environment. Between the bright colors and the lack of perspective, motifs and patterns emerge, images that I have seen or copied from museums around the world. Thus, behind Flatbread (2002) lurks the Adoration of the Magi by Gentile da Fabriano, and Francisca’s Fritters (2014) are related to Florentine Last Suppers.
The fun of cooking was what led to the first “recipe paintings” (S’Hort Nettle Soup, 1998). In these pieces, all my senses burst out through energetic strokes, bright colors, and the outsize of the marvelous. I felt free and I found that freedom in the realm of women’s chores. These paintings defined me. I closed the first series of “recipe paintings” with Trout (originally a sea bream) in Papillote with Sea Urchin Sauce (2006) for the restaurant at the Hotel Hermitage in Soldeu, Andorra.
My passion for painting led me to art history, and in 2009 I defended my doctoral thesis: Picasso’s Iconography between 1905 and 1907. The Influence of Pompeian Painting (Blecua Award, 2012, Universitat de Barcelona). Around that time, oils replaced acrylics and “lying on the couch” (Ascot Sofa, 2007) I painted what, in retrospect, could be interpreted as my relationship with the male world (Self-Portrait with Rousseau’s Tiger, 2008-2009). The ambiguous struggle against the imposition of patriarchal values to model my existence resulted in vital exhaustion (Venus “to the last drop”, 2010) and a premonitory painting (Disemboweled Venus, 2010). A half a year later, a woman’s hand with painted nails escaped from a large, dark man’s glove (A Feminine Touch, 2011). I searched for ideas (The Painter in Her Labyrinth, 2013) and they emerged (Saint Matthew: “Do Not Cast Your Pearls Before Swine”, 2013). This stage came to a close with Elisa Coll (Elisa Coll series, 2014). The painting provided a new ending for the family taboo of the secret great aunt. I spent seven years making patient collages of images drawn from the history of art and magazine ads, combining their original stories to develop new narratives.
I celebrated Elisa’s new life with a double paella (Paella in Cala Llombards, 2014) and began a second series of “recipe paintings” with new awareness and joy. I painted Roman recipes written in Latin (eradicated from schools that favor allegedly “useful” subjects).
Imitating the uneven, clumsy, fun stitches I made when I darned, I knitted my brushstrokes into a baby sweater (Jaime, 2014). Sewing, knitting, and embroidering are some of the anonymous tasks that women perform. These activities enable them to isolate themselves (Women’s Prayers series, 2014-2015) in a microcosm of peace and joy within the idiotic macrocosm of male truth.
As they knitted, women projected their deepest desires onto the future baby’s clothing: She Will Marry a Minister (2015). The sculptures that I call Textile Walls show the first sweater that covers a human being when it is born: a votive shell knitted with loving motherly projections that stifle the newborn’s own light. In The Dark Side of Venus I return to clay, to the ceramics of my childhood, to explain complex and often dark aspects of the story of Venus (Mutant Orange Venus, 2015) –in other words, the story of women.