Written by Isabel del Rio
I’ve studied Art History in Madrid and the Prado Museum was my second home during some years. The best pictures of Western Renaissance and Baroque paint are there, with their best achievement: incredible realism, perspective and deep narrative. Van der Weyden, Raphael, Greco, Ribera, Murillo, Rubens… and of course, Velazquez and Goya. Great artists who got to move the reality into a frame, a window opened in front of the viewer as a perfect movie which manages our imagination, the imagination of an active admirer… Complete worlds, frozen in time, speaking of eternal stories, stories with background.
However, in the last years I have been presenting art exhibitions by young artists, heavily influenced by the expressiveness of Ethnic Art or by the simplicity of Eastern Europe icons, interesting influences which should not make us forget our achievements.
Then, when I interviewed them about the meaning of their pictures, they usually answered ‘No meaning, it’s only optical effects, color and shapes’. Definitively, they had only a decorative intention, beautiful but not very deep, and without any interest in three dimensions.
I normally was silent hearing those explanations but thinking ‘yes, Picasso (looking for meanings and subjective perspectives) was the last Classic… a pity.’
Nevertheless, last week I saw Xavier Landry’s works and I feel relax: ‘At last someone has inherited the ancient knowledge and he has been able to evolve and to mix with current meanings, foreign influences, and personal dreams.
His ‘Ophelia’ is (as classic Ophelia by Millais) talking about the ephemeral beauty but with a Baroque expressiveness and current brutality (TV cruelty). His ‘Liberation figurative’ is Pop but it’s much more, it’s the Baroque movie of a new virgin going out of her icon to dramatically change the world with American colors. His ‘Pastourelle’ has the great technique of Flemish old painters and the true spirit of African artists (any concession), and ‘Manipulation’ encloses a complete novel: art and literature marching together, as it must be, as it was and new artists will make.
I hope you can take time to think of Xavier Landry’s paintings. They are not painted to decorate the living room or to sell any product. They are not quickly painted to earn money without effort. They have been painted to reflect our great truths: time and death, the two big subjects of any master piece.
Four images: acrylic on stretched canvas.
Dimensionsin inches, H x W:
Pastourelle la peste 60 x 30
Manipulation 36 x 24
Ophélie 36 x 48
Libération figurative 36 x 42
About Xavier Landry:
My work is a kind of religious interpretation of Canadian and American pop icons with a hint of dark humor, decrepit pity and paranoid social engagement delirium. Just like a drunken ride in the woods with a Six Flags abortion queen, eating plastic, petting dead pets.
The images that I create are often inspired by current events and by what I could call « social sickness ». I mix up themes in an interpretation delirium and the result tells a story. The magic is that themes seem to stick well together and keep a truly serious meaning through humor and stupid looking characters.