Spanish artist Lino Lago layers splashes of color over realistic oil-painted portraits creating a palimpsest of the old and the new.
French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas famously expressed in his seminal work ‘Old and New’ that “the New and Renewal are peaks of human life.” He went on to address how the search for ‘originality’ and a ‘desire for the Other’ makes the new a constant attraction, while comfort and a ‘nostalgia for origins’ is what keeps us preoccupied with the past. Lago’s ‘Fake Abstract’ series depicts classically painted portraits of women — think ‘Girl With The Pearl Earring’ or ‘Mona Lisa’, and her haunting eyes — covered with an opaque, brightly colored sheet over the top. The portrait is only seen through a thin transparent squiggle which looks like it has been drawn by a finger. ‘Fake Abstract’ juxtaposes classical art with the contemporary, creating what Levinas would call a “superimposed history”, where the new is projected onto the old and vice versa.
All images © Lino Lago