Art All Dayer: Carlos Ferg Exhibition

Statement

Carlos Ferg (b. 1977) is a Spanish artist who has lived in Manchester (United Kingdom) for nine years, where he has established his studio and from where he develops all his work. 

After living in several cities in Spain, during part of his childhood and adolescence, he graduated in Art History (Spain,2001).

Then, he moved to Madrid, not pursuing an artistic career, and although he was always had a taste for drawing, he wanted to take painting lessons, a step further beyond the simple application of drawing on paper. While he was working on different fields far from the creative environment, he had a hunger for visiting museums, something that kept his connection with the artistic environment.

After ten years living in Madrid, and due to awful personal circumstances, he began a process of learning pictorial techniques on his own, investigating and developing his own style, first through the medium considered essential throughout of history, oil technique. During this stage, he was really interested in the work of Velázquez and, fundamentally, Sorolla’s study of volume and light.

At that time, he had the opportunity to move to the UK and the possibility to explore and learn new mixed media techniques such as pastel, acrylics, etc., apart from receiving new artistic and pictorial influences from the 18th C and 19th C British artists.

It is in 2015, when he decided to develop a more solid project that will lead him to configure his own work, prompting his personal style in terms of technique and content.

He is currently developing a new figurative project, based on an updating of Symbolism works, a movement that had its greatest impact at the end of the 19th century and that was intrinsically linked to the literary movement developed in Paris, as the epicentre and that was spreading to the rest of Europe and influencing the other arts in a notorious way. Hence, writers such as Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, Verlaine, Poe, etc., who formed the nucleus of the group that would become known as The Damned Poets, stand out.

The central axis is the development of a new perspective around the figure of women and the evolution of the role they have had in society since the middle of the 19th century until today and how it has regained greater importance over time by virtue of the fight for their rights.

Since 2017, he has had the opportunity to work with galleries such as Carré d´Artistes Gallery (France), and Galerie Evénementielle (France), selling his work in the United Kingdom, Norway, the United States, France and Spain. In addition, he has expanded the channels to show his work through online art auctions, considering the weight that these platforms have gained in recent years in the Art market, due to their ability to divulge work globally. On the other hand, he has had the opportunity to publicize his work exhibiting at the Manifest Art Manchester and recently “ In Manchester “ exhibition by Cotton On Mcr. Also displaying his work at The Liverpool Art Book edited by Emma Bennet and The Guide Artists magazine.

He has a professional studio at Awol Studios, Manchester, UK. A space for artistic and creative development, which brings together a hundred spaces, creating a unique community in a unique environment, because it is one of the few factories of the Industrial Revolution that have been preserved to this day, considered a Grade II historical heritage.

‘Enigma’ (2020)

Acrylic on Canvas | 120 x 76 cm | £1400

This is a version of 1864 Gustave Moreau’s work. It represents Oedipus and Sphinx’s myth, in particular the moment when the sphinx tried to seduce Oedipus once he has resolved her enigmas. This work reflects again the ‘femme fatale’ portrayed on Symbolism, arguing about women’s freedom and independence during the second part of 19th Century. We have walked a long way since then but is it enough? From Egyptian culture, Sphinx was a symbol of death, a kind of rebel femininity, sexually active, opposed to the man dominion in a conservative patriarchal society.

‘Dominion over the Ancient Mariners’ (2020)

Acrylic on Canvas | 100 x 100 cm | £1400

It represents a mermaid submitting the will of men. Since classical antiquity, mermaids were related to death and were represented with the body of a bird and a human head, male or female according to gender. It was already from the Middle Ages when they began to be represented with fish tails. In Homer’s Odyssey it is narrated how they subdued the will of the sailors with their songs. On the other hand, the title is related to the poem of the old sailor by the romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This work continues in relation to the previous ones, dealing with the role of women as femme fatale already in the s. XIX and questioning how this role has evolved in terms of gender equality until today.

‘Ophelia’ (2020)

Acrylic on Canvas | 100 x 100 cm | £1400

Ophelia’s death has been a widely represented theme throughout history by artists of all ages since Shakespeare published Hamlet in 1601. It has been a very recurring theme that has always caused fascination. Perhaps the most famous work that represents it is the one from J. E. Millais in 1852. During the 19th C. was very represented, mainly in painting, especially in the Victorian era by the Pre-Raphaelite movement. During the XX century has continued to be an influence even for the cinema, in fact in 2018 the homonymous film was directed by Claire McCarthy. To make this work I have been inspired on the work of Martin Stranka. 

‘Ligeia’ (2020)

Acrylic on Canvas | 100 x 76 cm | £1400

Based on the work of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe, where the narrator makes a sublimation from the memory of the physical and intellectual virtues of his beloved after her death. On the other hand, it also refers to the work of Adolphe Bouguereau, the awakening of sadness. I leave some verses of Poe in relation to the work:
“The multitude of winged angels,
With their veils, bathed in tears, they are the audience of a theater that contemplates a drama of hopes and fears, while the orchestra plays, indefinite, the endless music of the spheres.
Lights out, all, all!
And on each shuddering form the curtain falls, funeral curtain, with the roar of a storm. And the pale and bloodless angels, now standing, now without veils, manifest that the drama is that of “Man”, and that the Worm Conqueror is their hero.

‘Lady of Lesbos’ (2021)

Acrylic on Canvas | 100 x 80 cm | £1400

Sappho was a Greek poet of the archaic period (VII BC) from the island of Lesbos. She was one of the most important poets, included in the list of “the Nine Lyrical Poets” and considered by Plato as “the tenth Muse”.
Her image was widely disseminated during Romanticism, represented as a heroine who committed suicide for love, throwing herself into the void from a cliff.
Sappho is the first surviving female author in the Western tradition. Most of the critical responses to her life and work have treated her gender and sexuality as the most important facts about her. However, his work served as an inspiration to poets and authors since classical times, marking a way of making poetry that served as a model throughout the sixteenth century, and onwards, mainly during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The “sapphic” and “lesbian” terms have acquired their current connotation already in modern times (19th century) since in classical times it was not considered in the same way and sex between women was not considered as such. Homosexuality was seen in a more open way, obviously without the filter that the church impressed on it in later centuries. In fact, it directly contributed to the disappearance of most of Sappho’s work. His work was translated and used for teaching in later centuries until Pope Gregory VII in 1073 ordered the burning of all manuscripts considered immoral. Only around 10% of his work is preserved.

‘Commitment’ (2021)

Acrylic on Canvas | 60 x 120 cm | £1400

Commitment is like these two vases, when they are empty, are so weak and fragile but when are full, they become in a stronger stuff. It’s a duality, between the colours on the landscape, cooler in the distance and heater in the foreground.

‘The Trance of the Sibyl’ (2021)

Acrylic on Canvas | 60 x 120 cm | £1400

This work represents a sibyl in a trance state. It is another another example in which History has put women aside for the mere fact of being women, and that I think it is worth remembering. In Greek and Roman cultures, the sibyls were women prophets with the power to unravel the future to prophesy events of all kinds, who had long, isolated and mysterious lives, living in atypical and inaccessible places. Michelangelo has already represented them in the Sistine Chapel. His words and predictions were usually produced in a trance state. They had an important role as prophets although throughout history their texts have been relegated, considering them as apocryphal, despite having a lot of relationship with biblical passages, mainly in relation to the New Testament, and being in a starting point for the faith by the first Christians in Roman times. The Judeo-Christian patriarchal system mainly focused on the work of male prophets, excluding practically all of the work developed by these prophets. Based on the work of Eugenio Recuenco, one of the photographers who inspire me the most.

‘Pride and Joy’ (2021)

Acrylic on Canvas | 100 x 80 cm | £1400

Tribute to all those people who love someone of the same gender, who suffer harassment and intolerance from a part of society and who still struggle to normalize it. In memory of all those who gave up their lives for their condition