Luis Cornejo's Perspective in his Inspirations

Fugalternativa Contemporary Art Space
Feb 12, 2014 9:49PM

Luis Conejos (1979, San Salvador) personifies the liberation from that mandatory requirement of the local as certificate of authenticity, which is often forcefully demanded of the art of the periphery. He quotes Umberto Eco’s vindication of the fact that one does not need to write for the purpose of changing the world, and he vindicates the figure of the man of letters “restored to his maximum dignity” that of writing for the simple pleasure of making up.

The body of his painting makes use of the right to paint on the basis of his personal iconographic archives, which is also that of a circulation era in which there is a cannibalism of images drawn from art history, without there being a differentiation of the sources’ categories. If Pop cannot be understood without Duchamp’s readymade, and hyper-realism without the latter, Cornejo’s work celebrates a return to painting, in which the virtuosity of the classical portrait-painter appears only to proceed to “cannibalize” itself through a mixture of references to Walt Disney stories, graphic languages taken from the Internet, iconographic signs from comic books, and continuous onomatopoeic play in which his characters gradually show signs that reflect the saturation of images.

His models personify characters that are in turn, subject to self-satire, to the negation of their own codes. He himself is a classical painter and the boy who crosses off the painting-by-painting cartoons on it, and he admits that the body of his work is a metaphorical self-portrait. But this is not only about self-representation, with all that it contains of the contamination produced by the images, but also about its inevitable connection with the collective imaginary of an epoch, to the holdings of the fragmented and accelerated visual archive that he can share with his colleagues from Central America, but also with the artistic from any European City.

In part, during his residency in Germany he freed himself of the weight of political concerns as rule governing the practice of Central American artists, but also of the distancing from painting, which characterized a generation that grew up listening to the announcement of its death.

 He returned to oil painting with the playful conscience, with a playful conscience, with freedom to comment on anything he felt like, without feeling guilt about the looting and free combination of movements that decades earlier still retained codes for their own strategies. If his work has political virtue, it is that of being resistant to the demands of exoticism, and of reminding us that Central American painting can enjoy the same freedom from the pleasure of the “indiscriminate eye”, which in any place promiscuously moves amidst all the visual references of the time. Also, through the contamination of images the definition of oneself is transformed, and cannibalism of identities takes place, which contains the tension between affirmation and negation, or that of being an open-ended question, a transit.

Fugalternativa Contemporary Art Space