Pure Evil Gallery
108 Leonard St, London
4 – 28 Oct 2012
All photos by NoLionsInEngland
Lilliputian tableaus started appearing at ground level in London about 2 years ago, firstly there were Georgian doorways, then a diaspora of ladies plying a darker trade followed more recently by surreal man-animal-space vehicle compositions. Figures and animals were always emphasised with shadows painted on the pavement.
The artist responsible was Mexican Pablo Delgado, resident in London. A brief small scale show in the Pure Evil gallery in late 2011 was followed by a major automobile work at the Banger Art show in June of this year.
The Banger Art show marked Delgado as a serious worker of themes and concepts., the current show at Pure Evil gallery is going to open the eyes of anyone who thought Delgado just worked with magazine cut outs slapped on a wall. Upstairs are a couple of large framed compositions whose cut out figures are said by Deglado to represent where all his work begins, the selection of figures.
The most fascinating pieces downstairs are a collection of 6 mirrored tableaus, the outlines of figures are raised from the surface of a card mounted on a circular frame and hung so that anyone less than say 20 feet tall could not possibly look down at the image. Viewing is by means of their reflection in a tilted mirror above the piece. The view throws the floor underneath the piece up as vertical backdrop to the scene, this makes the world look like various planes have been cracked and twisted, what is vertical we see as horizontal and what is floor we see as a desiccated crumbling cliff. As if the actual scene itself wasn’t sufficiently surreal.
The effect of evidently drawing on paper, cutting and folding out the outline then viewing from behind is played on with several of the larger drawings on paper. One would imagine that in any normal domestic environment there is surely a high risk of the cardboard outline getting damaged, or perhaps that just NoLions Towers.
A collection of water filled jars provide a lens to distort the view of miniature divers, looking like a gathering of Borrowers holding a fetish party.
Delgado relishes playing with light, we knew that from the painted shadows associated with his street pieces, and a large proportion of the work in this show delights in playing with light, optics and geometry. The painted beam of light in this piece was so convincing the viewer is inclined to seek the source of light behind the hanging picture.
Scattered around the floor are many more of the conventional Delgado style wall compositions similar to those we have seen on the streets of London. And like on the streets, we see cosmic travel artefacts popping up frequently in his bizarre scenes
In a show where the bizarre is the norm and the surreal is commonplace, one of the weirdest aspects is the sight of shadows without their casting figure, a sight which is also common on the streets where the paste up has disappeared through natural causes – decay or theft. In this show Delgado surprises us with the development of his techniques but that element of cute humour present in his simpler street works has not evaporated in the translation. A very enjoyable and intriguing show well worth a visit. Like a visitor to Disneyland, that other well known land of suspended disbelief, be prepared to discover that it’s a small world after all.
More photos HERE