16th October – 11th December 2015
When we look at the work of Aurelio Ayela in the ART MUSTANG the first thing that comes to mind is whether it is all a joke; Armagetón is a sample of the collection of this artist from Alicante who uses the end (the end times according to the Bible) and a special style of music (reggeaton) as the starting point.
And if, the joke is precisely everything that his work is about, this is not understood as being offensive but rather something to think about. His work could be defined as “serious play”: taking diverse elements, giving them a new meaning and shape to turn them into something different. It becomes clear if we compare the variety of materials used: from Tetra Briks reconverted into houses with a swimming pool to a large sized piece of methacrylate as a dystopic mirror.
At the entrance into the exhibition there are a few old lockers supported on oranges and jacks opened at their maximum capacity. This piece conveys one of the main ideas of Ayela’s work: the mix is positive and the results can be surprising. In this case, the goodness and the fragility of the oranges’ softness are compared with the coldness and the artificiality of the industrial lockers. It is not only the materials that are contrasted here, but also the colours and the origins: the metal and the orange, the natural and the manufactured.
According to Ayela the creative act is summed up in a fight, in an on-going conflict between opposites and that when this dichotomy is reconciled, the artwork is born. The imposing piece based on recomposing different bits of methacrylate (that he made together with FabLab Alicante) also originates from this divergence of opposite pairs that try to get closer to each other. Great artists who are played off against each other and produce a distortion in the reflection; it is impossible to forget the old funhouse mirrors that, depending on where the person stands, reflected a distorted image of them (taller, shorter…).
If the industrial predominates these two pieces, everything else on display in the exhibition is exactly the opposite to this; small pieces scattered around the gallery like objet trouvés that Ayela collects and compiles in his studio to then find a new use for. There is even a manual element in the creative act: a series of drawings done at different times during his career that show the artist in a more straightforward way, with the trace of himself in each line and, what is more, following an absolute coherence with the rest of the collection. The coincidence, the possibility of passing or failing the test, the serious game, also exists in these pieces. “I am really interested in the expressive side of drawing precisely because it is very systematic”, says the artist.
Armagetón is an exhibition that reveals the artist himself through many different ways; all the work of Ayela is based on his own life experience, from his childhood colouring with pencils that he found stuck down in old sofas that were like hidden treasure, or the impact that comics and Japanese Anime made on him, or the artist who now collects carton packages and then cuts them up, paints them and transforms them into small sculptures.
In this artist’s work there is a mix of very curious influences, between the arte povera and pop; Ayela admits that he is fascinated by Oldenburg, by Beuys…although he goes beyond them, creating a miscellany based on colour, material and the very meaning of each piece. The special world of Ayela has a lot to do with science fiction, just like when one plays; always starting off with reality and what must be imagined. How not to consider, then, serious play when it comes to creating?
Curator and Art Historian.