Sketches on Enrique Collar´s Bollywood
As we all know, Hyperrealism is a contemporary school of painting inspired by Photorealism that evokes the illusion of photography. With advancements in cameras, lenses, and digital equipment, Rotterdam based artist and filmmaker Enrique Collar (Paraguay, 1964) has been able to lead a technical and conceptual process which took him to the Bollywood series.
The version displayed in WG Gallery exhibition proposes a double take to the viewer, in an entirely sincere act: to reveal the interwoven bonds between painting and photography. A paradox confirmed in his own words: “I think and do photography as a painter. My paintings begins where the photo ends.”
The dialogue between the oil paintings and the digital copies of several women and men would as well suggest another conceptual link: actual Hyperrealism may contain a recovered and idealistic sense of Romanticism. The solitary and magnified scrutiny of the single figure surprises after an epoch in which individuality was almost out in the contemporary painting scene.
A tremendous respect and affection could be felt for the people, who in real selfless generosity, lent to Collar their image unconditionally. As he chooses models of diverse ethnic origins and the background ornamented with peripheric textile motifs, the solo show proposes simultaneously a decolonizated look and a multicultural dialogue. The portrayed protagonists are neither vain or passive, they become planetary icons.
Enrique Collar´s Bollywood is a wide-reaching visual study in political representation and a subjective expression of identity. It should not be underestimated for its boldness and risk, rather for its skillful combination of conceptual thinking and social documentary spirit.
It is thanks to this deconstruction that the artist succeeds in the “demystification” of the standard portrait genre in order to present what was always obvious but not seen, at least in the ouvre from expatriate artists in Europe. Perhaps Enrique Collar is narcissistically interested in his own time, in his multicultural experiences or to raise alternatives to confront common places in the portrait mainstream imagery.
Cologne, June 11, 2018