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Tightrope walker When people ask Javier Mariscal what he does for a living, he sometimes says he’'92s a tightrope walker and other times he says he’'92s an acrobat; even when he uses the world of the circus to describe himself, he takes on several jobs. In a circus, he would also be the ring manager, he would design the big top and the staging, he would go up on the trapeze and would be most annoyed if he didn’'92t find time to feed the elephants. This creative incontinence, this need to express himself by means of multiple artistic disciplines (or not) has always been one of the characteristics of his work since he took up a pencil in the 1970s to earn his living. It is precisely this multidisciplinary nature that has gained him most incomprehension, particularly from those who judge everything under the cloak of orthodoxy. They were not able to forgive him for daring to have a go at a stage, at a large format sculpture or at a painting exhibition, at the same time as he was triumphing as a graphic designer. Things have now changed and in the contemporary world a Renaissance spirit is starting to resurge that permits doctors to be television presenters or architects to play the banjo. Good for all of them. And good for Mariscal, who can now dedicate himself to painting without being asked for the nth time whether he is a designer who paints or a painter who designs, especially when he has made it quite clear that he’'92s a tightrope walker. He uses his personal language, complex in its intention and simple in the way it is stated, for communicating, for tickling one’'92s eyes when they look at his work, for creating complicity with the other person. And to achieve what is, in short, the objective of all painters who exhibit their work: that someone else’'92s gaze may discern the emotion and the search for the beauty with which it has been conceived. This ability to communicate that Mariscal has does not prevent his artistic work from being an intimate work, done for its own sake, in which, as always, he takes on the risk of making way for his loose creativity without time to reflect between the creative impulse and the gesture of his hand. However, despite his speedy strokes, his work is never banal. His painting does not arise from reflection, because his unmeasured instinct is what is in charge of spinning this apparently innocent discourse, which is always full of intention. Mariscal thinks in images and expresses himself through them, in a way that is direct,


synthetic and easy to decode, that is why he transmits and affects. And this is paradoxical, as he imprints everything with a new meaning, in his mind there is no semantic imposition, everything can be read in another way, everything can become anything else, an everyday object can be sublime, and a sublime object can become an everyday one. Because his gaze is always poetic. The world is constantly changing and the tightrope walker knows that he is involved, that he is a driving force behind these changes and at the same time a mirror of them. Mariscal feeds the driving force with the energy that is created by the contrast between innocence and provocation. The mirror in which he lets us look at ourselves shows us that everything, absolutely everything, is likely to be something else. And, I hope you will agree, this is a very hopeful message. At least to those of us who seek some kind of consolation in art. À'C0ngels Manzano Tightrope walker When people ask Javier Mariscal what he does for a living, he sometimes says he’'92s a tightrope walker and other times he says he’'92s an acrobat; even when he uses the world of the circus to describe himself, he takes on several jobs. In a circus, he would also be the ring manager, he would design the big top and the staging, he would go up on the trapeze and would be most annoyed if he didn’'92t find time to feed the elephants. This creative incontinence, this need to express himself by means of multiple artistic disciplines (or not) has always been one of the characteristics of his work since he took up a pencil in the 1970s to earn his living. It is precisely this multidisciplinary nature that has gained him most incomprehension, particularly from those who judge everything under the cloak of orthodoxy. They were not able to forgive him for daring to have a go at a stage, at a large format sculpture or at a painting exhibition, at the same time as he was triumphing as a graphic designer. Things have now changed and in the contemporary world a Renaissance spirit is starting to resurge that permits doctors to be television presenters or architects to play the banjo. Good for all of them. And good for Mariscal, who can now dedicate himself to painting without being asked for the nth time whether he is a designer who paints or a painter who designs, especially when he has made it quite clear that he’'92s a tightrope walker.


He uses his personal language, complex in its intention and simple in the way it is stated, for communicating, for tickling one’'92s eyes when they look at his work, for creating complicity with the other person. And to achieve what is, in short, the objective of all painters who exhibit their work: that someone else’'92s gaze may discern the emotion and the search for the beauty with which it has been conceived. This ability to communicate that Mariscal has does not prevent his artistic work from being an intimate work, done for its own sake, in which, as always, he takes on the risk of making way for his loose creativity without time to reflect between the creative impulse and the gesture of his hand. However, despite his speedy strokes, his work is never banal. His painting does not arise from reflection, because his unmeasured instinct is what is in charge of spinning this apparently innocent discourse, which is always full of intention. Mariscal thinks in images and expresses himself through them, in a way that is direct, synthetic and easy to decode, that is why he transmits and affects. And this is paradoxical, as he imprints everything with a new meaning, in his mind there is no semantic imposition, everything can be read in another way, everything can become anything else, an everyday object can be sublime, and a sublime object can become an everyday one. Because his gaze is always poetic. The world is constantly changing and the tightrope walker knows that he is involved, that he is a driving force behind these changes and at the same time a mirror of them. Mariscal feeds the driving force with the energy that is created by the contrast between innocence and provocation. The mirror in which he lets us look at ourselves shows us that everything, absolutely everything, is likely to be something else. And, I hope you will agree, this is a very hopeful message. At least to those of us who seek some kind of consolation in art. Àngels Manzano

Tightrope Walker  

Javier Mariscal's profile

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