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AVILA DISCUSSES FRANCISCO DE ZURBARAN:

‘Whom ever compares Zurbaran with Caravaggio is a complete idiot… In my view, the greatness of Zurbaran paintings is that he doesn’t leave a hiding place for the viewer; there is no an “in between” area where the viewer can observe the paintings and accommodate his thoughts to some sort of common understanding. The democratic transaction of opinions where the viewer can negotiate with the paintings some sort of middle ground is subjugated to ordinance and prescriptions of formality in a ceremony of spiritual belief. Probably that is why Zurbaran has been rejected in the past as one of the best artist that ever existed. People took the easy way out by focusing their critique in cultural aspects like… religion. Zurbaran is not about RELIGION. Zurbaran is all about the acceptance by the mind that something is true or REAL, often underpinned by an emotional or spiritual sense of certainty, and in my view that appearance crashed from the beginning with many philosophical and political views of the past “A man’s shortcomings are taken from his epoch; his virtues and greatness belong to himself” (Goethe). I have personally tried to accommodate some of Zurvaran’s dispositions for not letting the viewer a space to accommodate himself comfortable in a painting titled Hamlet (which Canete has somewhere) and I found that the sense of abstraction paired with the title forces the viewer to accept or reject the painting based on the capacity of introspection since the painting is not attractive “per se” . In my particular case, Zurbaran is all about content and meaning and to me that makes him “addictive” because it forces me to work very hard and keep things in perspective from the beginning in order to understand my limits.’