Modern fantastic literature has sprung from myth and the supernatural, from the humanist-pos-itivist utopia and from the anti-utopian and harrowing satire, from meditations on the future, extra¬ordinary voyages, the exploration of horror. Past masters ranging from Plato to Lucian, from Rabe¬lais to Fourier, Swift and Butler, from Restif de la Bretonne to Mercier, Defoe, Verne, Allan Poe, Conan Doyle, Tolkien, Lovecraft and Wells have all mined this rich vein that has yielded today's science fiction, a field in which the domination of time, the conquest of space and a future existence linked to artificiallife are all quintessential themes.
Oscar Seco has tapped into many of these sources to set up his own particular pictorial univer¬se. Mter his laid-back opening bow as devourer of comics and Hollywood B films, his work has built itself up ori some of the trailblazing feats of fantastic literature and related genres. His personal ideas have sprung from fountainheads as diverse as Alexandre Dumas and Stevenson, Chesterton and Con¬rad, Faulkner and London, without forgetting the Borges of El libro de los seres imaginarios (The Book ofImaginary Beings) and the prolific Ballard, whose titles, written in the sixties and seventies, often match those given by the painter himself to his own works.
Continuing with the references to the art world, we could also find traces of the avant-garde Russian movement in some specific works and the great graphic design of that era, to which he declares himself a debtor; the machines of Picabia or the paradoxical world of Magritte also body forth in many of his works. But the interesting point here is how he annuls the value scales of his referents; here, surrealism and pop are blended both in their iconographic aspects and their ideological spin-offs, but contemplated in an irreverent and, as we have already pointed out, almost paradoxical way. Like any self¬respecting modemist Seco lays his hands on anything of use to him in composing his deranged, excessive universes.
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