One of the stories whose reading has affected and moved me most referred to a an oriental master painter who, whilst walking through a garden, made his disciple understand where and how beauty was identified in nature. His intention was to make the disciple understand that real art did not lie in painting a reed, achieve an acceptable representation of it, but in making a reed come to life on the canvas. The mission of the artist was not that of copying nature, but of creating it. The role of the artist as a maker of new situations and realities has not changed since Confucius.
Two thousand five hundred years have only served for us to continue trying, unsuccessfully, to understand that nature cannot be imitated. That the vision of an artist must lose any collateral prejudice.
The author of that story is a very well known contemporary artist who hides behind his own irreproducible pseudonyrn. He reflected on the worries, obsessions and goals that separare the West, represented by The Birth of Venus, and the patient work of a gardener, Tao Lin for example.
It is undoubtedly very complicated to find that level of purity, that global vision of the world arnong contemporary western artists. What is more, globalisation is rnaking a negative aesthetic contamination spread to places where, for centuries, the creator spent his life cultivating a bonsai. lt is difficult to find a principle that invited the creator to forget the environment as a reference point and that this hides inside himself, that sometimes cannot be confessed, or in his mernory. Life’s experiences are raw materials from which the artist builds a copy, a rejoinder or social criticism.
There are those who seek, with anachronistic clumsiness, to reinvent nature, to represent reality through multiple filters that ingenuously hide the totality of knowing oneself to be a non-creator, to search in linguistics or in semiotics for replies ro facts that can only be explained from the interior of each individual.
Some possibly manage to achieve certain levels of spiritual satisfaction throughout the long-distance obstacle course that is usually the life of an artist. Sorne manage to achieve certain specific goals, like the apprentice Messiah in Illusions when he managed to make a feather disobey the laws of gravity. But even such situations are far from making a reed come to life on a canvas.
This mysrery is reserved for only a few visionaries. Lidó Rico is one of them. His found objects are seeds, his photographs stems, his fingers and hands water, his bulbs irnagination, his weightless characters in dreamlike scenes: the reeds/ rushes.
He does not describe situations, he does not tell stories, he does not repeat romances or sighs, he perhaps opens the window to invent, with each object and each work, a unique and unrepeatable vision of the world. His vision is not distant but poetic, it is neither eccentric nor rebellious, but plausible and patient. His way of seeing things rerninds me of that of an oriental master painter who taught his disciple to sow reeds .