THE ART OF TERROR

Halloween has become fashionable nowadays because it adds a bit of humour and mystery to a traditionally solemn and serious celebration in which we face a mandatory appointment with death. Despite the imported traditions, the emptying of pumpkins and the famous phrase "trick or treat" (which was never said in our country ever), the truth is that there is a certain homogeneity in the fact that we get ready for an encounter with the after-death world. From this core idea, derive the others that play with the fear of the unknown, the fear of death, the connection with the underworld, etc., proposing a more open and humorous approach. And we, in our particular Halloween, make a reminder of some works that treat fear and terror in a masterly way.

Edvard Munch, "The scream", 1893

This well-known Munch painting is the work par excellence of the Expressionism, an artistic stream that tried to convey the sensations through the colour, without necessarily keeping coherence and verisimilitude. This artist, known for his tormented and dejected character, was one of the greatest representatives of this movement. The most famous version of this work is in Oslo, in the National Gallery of Norway, where it was stolen several times, the last in 2004, until in 2006 the piece could be recovered.

Goya, "Saturn devouring his son", (1819-1823)

.jpg)

One of the most tormented paintings known is "Saturn devouring his son", by Goya. This work is framed within his famous period of Black Paintings, all dry oils, painted on the wall, in which the artist deals with dark themes related to tragedy and depression. This period coincides with a serious illness of the painter, who channelled his displeasure and disappointment through his work. Saturn represents the Titan Chronos, the god of time, who devours everything in its path. It is a crude and raw work that does not hide its violence, and that Goya had in his house of the Quinta del Sordo.

Salvador Dalí, "The face of war", 1940

"The face of war" painted by Dalí between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of World War II represents the horror of tragedy, the empty sockets, which enclose other faces multiplied in an infinite approximation, to manifest the desolation and impotence. It is said that another motivation of the author for this painting was the execution of Federico García Lorca, with whom Dalí had an intimate relationship.

Zdzislaw Beksinski

And we must highlight the work of Zdzislaw Beksinski. The life of this Polish artist was also testimony to a great life tragedy. He himself was found dead of 17 stabs in his home in 2005. This multidisciplinary author is considered one of the maximum representatives of contemporary surrealism, and his works do not leave indifferent. The presence of death, the connections with the underworld, the horror of sinister images with beings devoured by apocalyptic entities are their most recurrent motives. Beksinski said that he painted what was in his dreams, but he was very jealous of what he communicated, because he destroyed several of his works because he said they were too personal for the world to know them.

 

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.