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The expressionist style and constant effort of Rafael Llorens Ferri (Alcoy, 02/12/1937) to learn and renew artistic languages have earned him the title of master plastic artist and outstanding creator. He is now presenting the exhibition Una mirada irónica (“An ironic look”), which can be enjoyed in the University of Alicante’s Museum general-use room until 23 December.

Llorens explores all techniques and possible topics. He has the gift of shaping up reality to offer a personal interpretation of the topics he deals with. His concern is to express feelings rather than to make an objective and photographic description of the image, which is just an imitation of the physical reality. He has always been an advocate for individual freedom. He studied Art in Valencia and Barcelona between 1960 and 1965 and then worked as a painting and drawing teacher, which allowed him to break free from the commercial demands made by art dealers. Right now he is retired from teaching and fully devoted to painting, something he cannot live without.

This exhibition is part of international congress “History and poetry of memory: political violence in the representations of Francoism” and includes works centered on composing and decomposing the human figure. From 1965, this was the author’s way to express the feeling of poverty, dejection, loneliness and humiliation of oppressed women. From 1972, his ironic anti-portraits focused on the cruelty and lack of humanity of oppressive rulers and inquisitors. Later on, he explored a tragic vision of human beings through the disturbing faces he painted in his chemo-graphies and in his engravings.

Through his pictorial and graphic expressionism, Llorens Ferri has helped represent the bitterness of the oppressed and the cruelty of their oppressors, including Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. The exhibition is a string of dramatic figures and distorted faces, mixed up with anti-portraits of the oppressors. The closing pieces are two kinder tribute still-lives: one is devoted to Joan Gil-Albert, who was physically exiled from Spain between 1939 and 1947 and then intellectually exiled when he came back (1947-1974); the other is dedicated to Vicent Andrés Estellés, a poet whose free creation was cut short in 1978 for political reasons. Estellés is also Llorens Ferri’s favourite writer, and the artist likes to recite his poems by heart.

VEU - Cultural Magazine of the University of Alicante

Revista Cultural VEU
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