Juan Zamora: Galeria Moriarty

By Llorca, Pablo | Artforum International, April 2009 | Go to article overview

Juan Zamora: Galeria Moriarty


Llorca, Pablo, Artforum International


In looking at the drawings of the young Spanish artist Juan Zamora, one could easily think that comics are a major source of inspiration for his schemes of figures, forms, and situations. Yet on the occasion of this exhibition, Zamora has stated that he is neither drawn to nor an avid reader of comic books. If comics are not a direct influence for him, one must conclude that the language of that medium has become so pervasive that, for many artists, it is not even necessary to pay any serious attention to them to undergo their influence. In any case, Zamora's earlier drawings, often composed with a single stroke, evoke automatic writing: The legacy of Surrealism seems to fuse with the pervasive background of cartoons.

Like many other artists today (Marcel Dzama and his Royal Art League colleagues from Winnipeg, for instance), Zamora bases his work on simple yet highly expressive drawing using just a few syntactic elements. Only ten years ago, this sort of work--which is now commonplace--was a rarity in art galleries. As with photography and video, the market has had to accept that such work has its rewards. The figures in the works Zamora recently showed at Moriarty under the title "Cuando aire y nubes" (When Air and Clouds) are sexually ambiguous, yet often display an amorous or erotic connection to one another; they evoke the figures of Henry Darger or of Spanish artist Luis Salaberria. …

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