Axis Mundi 2018-2021

Selections of paintings 1992-2009

All the paintings reproduced in this section were executed using a technique known as “decalcomania,” invented and so named by the great painter, Oscar Domínguez (1906-1957), from the Canary Islands. Throughout the years, I have adapted my own needs to this technique, which employs both accident and chance as a point of departure in the creation of a work of art. When I paint I don’t use sketches or drawings before or during the process. In other words, all these works began from a stain or abstract texture created by pure chance as I stamped a cotton cloth on a canvas covered by wet paint. 

 

I try to keep my mind a blank when I am about to begin to paint. The ambiguous forms within the “stain” suggest the characters and places which inhabit my paintings. Once I decide which of the characters found within the “stain” I intend to develop, I begin to draw directly onto the canvas using a paintbrush. The process is very similar to that of children when they play at finding whimsical shapes among the clouds. 

 

During the process of creative visualization I remain conscious of the formal fundamentals of the art of painting. In that way, the final result will be a well-composed work at all levels. As I paint, I incorporate the memories that come to mind of the images I visualize; memories about lectures on mythology, literature in general, the world of dreams, and everyday happenings that enrich the myths and the iconography of my work. 

Rafael Trelles