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Juan Uslé

Cuidado que nos miran. Recogido (Careful, we are being watched. Collected), 2009

JUAN USLÉ
SANTANDER, ESPAÑA / SPAIN, 1954
Cuidado que nos miran. Recogido (Careful, we are being watched. Collected), 2009
Técnica mixta sobre lienzo / Mixed media on canvas
274 x 203 cm
Adquirida / Adquired 2012

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 Rear Window is an archetypal reflection on voyeurism and on the gaze, but also an essential one on the relationship of the spectator to the moving image. Taking his cue from Hitchcock’s ponderings, Uslé unfolds a series of works structured by large horizontal colour lines that evoke the slats of venetian blinds — a quintessential means to see without being seen. Applied to the canvas in one stroke, they establish a rhythm, which also refers to the physicality of painting as a gesture, something that is core to the work of Uslé (see Soñé que revelabas, p. 65). The variation of colours may allude to the reflection of the sun on the metallic blades, while the gracious silhouettes painted on top evoke the somehow visible action one may decipher looking through that shield of sorts. The title of this series of works borrows from a warning of James Stewart to Grace Kelly in the course of that film. Akin to Hitchcock, Uslé is interested in the way we look, the way we hide and reveal ourselves to others, but perhaps even more so, the way we engage with a work of art.

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The artist

Juan Uslé

Santander, Spain, 1954

Romantic references to the landscape and any remaining traces of expressionism to develop an extremely personal language of simultaneous styles disappear after his stay in New York. Both his paintings as well as his photography are characterised by their unique rich and non-naturalistic colours, and alternating with gesture and geometry, sobriety and Baroque folly, dynamism and immobility… and countless more opposites.

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