Meet Spanish artist Ramiro Fernandez Saus whose 2011 show The Temple sold out even before the private view. We are delighted that he has agreed to take part in Art on a Ukulele. We think Ramiro and Mick are a match made in in heaven.
Ramiro Fernandez Saus is painter who uses his environment to playfully express his imagination. Although there is no direct evocation of a specific time period in Ramiro’s paintings, a tribute to the painters of the late nineteenth century is clearly transmitted through his practice. Ramiro’s depictions of rural life are bright and naïve, reminiscent of Gauguin’s depictions of Brittany and paintings of tigers, parrots and monkeys recall the earlier works of Henri Rousseau. Through the application of soft brushstrokes and large flat planes of warm colour, accompanied by a strong use of symbolism, Ramiro provides an otherworldly quality to his art. A common theme that emerges in his work is the meeting of interior and exterior settings, and the ways in which nature interacts with the manmade world and vice versa. He turns external environments into homely places, and interior settings, bound by their walls, into places that maintain all the spontaneity and excitement of the natural world.
As Baudelaire once said ‘Nature is nothing more than a dictionary and those who have no imagination copy the dictionary. But painters who obey the imagination seek in their dictionary the elements that fit their conceptions’. Ramiro’s images of nature are beautifully composed and he focuses on depicting nature in its more tamed and nurturing form. He does not simply paint from life, he invents scenes, stories and encounters through an intuitive and playful use of composition and figures.
In Reveries of the Solitary Sailor, Ramiro creates a contemplative scene in which a man stands with his back to the viewer cradled by the trees that surround him while looking out over a sunny open field. In this way the painter expresses the comfort of existing alongside nature and the excitement of discovering new scenery through leisurely strolling.
Ramiro’s interior scenes are in the same naïve style as his depictions of landscapes. His wobbly outlines make for endearing caricaturesque interiors that are delicately adorned with homely paraphernalia, cats, picture frames, antique tables, sofas, candelabras and clocks. An element of play is introduced into many of these private scenes; for example, in The Three Friends a bird happens to have flown in threw the open window to join the two leisurely cats. Ramiro continues to pursue the themes of nature and animal life within his interior setting; note how in The Three Friends the painting depicting the night sky contrasts the daylight scene that unfolds beyond the threshold of the window pain.
Ramiro’s artistic practice is particularly influenced by poets and writers and it is precisely this illustrative aspect that allows us to enter with childish naivety into the romantic realm of his work. The narrative within the pictures unfolds the more we take time to look and read into the subtleties of the composition. Engrossing for their poetic quality, Ramiro’s paintings make for an interesting point of discussion as they are open to endless interpretations.
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