This Paco Naranjo has the skill of one who speaks with a paintbrush and knows how to describe a sincere, true, frank and imaginative discourse. It is not easy to do; with a paintbrush in hand there are artists who speak without making a single word understood, who leave those of us who listen the task of translating their plastic exordiums and of imagining whatever we please, often without meaning to say anything at all. Paco, on the other hand, strives to make his story fertile but sincere, powerful, technically, impeccable, and surprisingly unexpected.
A train that goes by, a bull pen door that opens, a corner that becomes an angle in our presence, a couple who dances over the sky of Seville. Everything is real but is prone to fantasy at the same time is charged with singular thought transmitted by a stroke of the wrist just as the makers of religious images sculpture God by the stroke of the gouge. I like his explosion of color, his indifference to that which is somber, the Atlantic elegance with which he traces the forms, and the magnitude almost in relief of some of his paintings.
I have the pleasure of seeing him every day, on the far wall, having painted my portrait without knowing it in the boy who watches life go by sitting at a lever crossing. The train was a woman: I was lazing away, it came by and I decided to get on. There is no better allegory than that magnificent and sovereign velocity and this contemplation of the scenery altered by the force of iron and steam. Other metaphors like this one said in oil remain here exhibited in the work of a painter who, fortunately, still has a merry-go-round somewhere in his head.
Paco Borrás Verdera
Professor Emeritus and former dean of the Santa Isabel de Hungría Faculty of Fine Arts of Seville
An encounter with an oeuvre and its author, like Francisco Cayetano Naranjo Jurado, is always gratifying for its great creativity. His simple admiration for others honors him; for that reason he can only be a sensitized person.
Paco’s personality, full of life and constant inquisitiveness, will allow him to reach his utmost. For years we have walked along the same path of Art, detecting at the start of his formation a great future which today is present.
It has been an honor to visit his studio and enjoy a collection of his work, in which the various stages of his artistic career can be appreciated. The great variety of his motifs justifies his creative talents.
His good work has led him to a dreamy realism, full of symbolism. It is orderly and cerebral; with the mediums he achieves a perfection of forms, as in his landscapes, his somewhat surreal fanciful series of outer space motifs; then his study of rocks, textures and bas-reliefs.
In his different artistic moments he has showed us what he is capable of doing. His vocation is such that he should continue struggling with that creative restlessness in order to reach the top of what is most exquisite.
Lastly, as a painter myself, I am of the opinion that a work of art must speak for itself, as that is our language. This holds in the painting of Francisco Cayetano Naranjo Jurado.
Painter. professor of beautiful arts
Let us begin at the end, knowing beforehand that it is a circle, better, a spiral in which the before and after are not determining categories.The city viewed as a horizon, robotized, octagonal and cold, in an elaborate “ready-made” which will transfer us to a new “metaphysical painting”, different only in appearance, alike in coldness, desolated spaces.
It is a container in which the things of life take place; where people sing and think that they dress up as something. And they think that they fall in love, ever eager to find themselves, and with them the painter, such is good, converted into the shaman of the tribe.To do this he will continue to delve into an epiphany of window grilles and rooftops, trees and passageways and rivers, and so, rapt in thought be able to close the circle, better a spiral, and tell us of stones and planets, questions without answers.
And all of this with the utmost rigor with regard to drawing color and form because he knows well and has the faculties to do it. To be able to relate to us all of that enthralling “social imaginary” it requires the poetic discipline of the apparent reality of things.
In the presence of a painting, I am one of those people who are only capable of seeing what they see… and nothing more. When an artist begins to explain his work to me I usually respond with borrowed words: “Don’t tell me about it; paint it. And let me watch.” It’s what Berthold Brecht is said to have advised his actors when they tried to explain a character to him: “Don’t tell me about it; do it.”
I have to say, that never happened to me with Paco Naranjo.I approach these pages not as a journalist but rather as a friend, which is a sacred word to me… A friend since that age at which it is as difficult to lie as it is easy to scratch dreams.
I met Paco forty years ago. We did athletics. We ran clumsily after life. We ran after forbidden fruit. Amid rough wine and clandestine talks we attended dumbfounded the awakening of each spring, the performances of the “Tabanque” or the “cla” in the Álvarez Quintero, the outlandish poetry sessions given by Miss Lucy Prescott, the concerts of “Los Lentos”, of “Smash”, of “Storm”, or of Pepe Maldonado; the “Hornacina” in the school of architecture or the “Vida” cinema club where we discovered Chablrol and Godard, Berlanga and Pasolini. We lived with emotion everything that seemed thought-provoking and creative… including passes from Cardeñosa to Gordi down the sideline.
We organized fiestas with music, theatre and painting at the old Santa Isabel de Hungría School. Many afternoons, back home, Paco would show me his latest brushstrokes while I told him about my “Esperpénticos” theatre projects.If I were a little more modern, I would say that Paco paints “by default”, that is, from birth. Perhaps because his childhood was partly connected to “Heliopolis” and a neighborhood like that builds character: light and color are the essence of an art that enters through the eye. But I have always secretly thought that his passion for painting comes to him through another more primary sense: the sense of smell. He knows why.
Over the years I`ve learned to recognize and appreciate the singular calligraphy of his imaginary world; the meaning of his symbols, as simple and sincere as they seem; his magnificent command of drawing as the plinth of every pictorial edifice; his struggle in facing up to technical challenges, which others elude for lack of nobility or talent; his precision in detail and his great obsession for that which is minute and perfect.
His most intimate “imaginario”: Time: its secrets, mechanisms, and its chains. Reality hidden in dreams; the depiction of atmosphere, indispensable compliment to a memory trapped in the unconscious; his preoccupation for content and a continuous exploration of form.His characters, figures or caricatures from a comedy of art in which only the “canovaccio” that writes the story changes. His portraits are mostly of women. The clouds, minute particles of life that rise to the highest. And that world of rocks and trees, glances and countryside that bring him close to his land, to his closest past, his present refuge.
And his pas de deux with Seville; the need to escape from a narcissistic, eternal city which has always scorned her greatest children; to pursue his desires knowing that “Sansueña” pertains to the universe of poetry and that in this land you can only be exiled or criticized.
For the last forty years I have seen him scrape seconds from the night in search of the perfect mortar for the architecture of his paintings; defend every step of the way his study and his intuition, the result of the historical memory of all intelligence. Paco pertains to that extraordinary stock that painted what they wanted in the times of the barricades and who continue doing so in the times of cultural merchandise.
He always speaks to us from his interior. I don’t know a better way to be sincere and ecumenical: the only essential conditions of the artist.And from his interior he has amazed us with his astonishing technique, his line, his color, and his frame of mind which never spares a smile. Can anyone give more in this world of greed?For this I ask that he not change; that he continues to have that profile that muddles the mediocre and statistics.
Armando del Río
Painter, Professor of Color and Composition and academician of the Santa Isabel de Hungría Fine Arts Faculty of the University of Seville
The work we contemplate today is the result of a hard learning process at the School of Applied Arts. Amid one hundred students, Francisco Naranjo stood out for his demeanor and his friendly personality, but above all, for his work, achieving excellent final grades. He later enters the Fine Arts Faculty and again I have him as a student in the subject of Color and Composition in the fifth and final year of his degree, achieving an outstanding grade.
After some time, during which I only saw a few of his works in collective exhibits, I was greatly surprised when I went to his studio; I found myself before an oeuvre of great potential. Each piece is a different Naranjo. I, who hates monotony, can’t understand how a painter can paint the same motif, with the same mechanics and with the same vision for forty or fifty years.
It is a pleasing surprise to discover a painter who contributes something new to his work each day, and with his technical mastery makes what we view a joy to be seen.
It is tragicomedy un painting what the Young artist from Seville executes in his work. His drawings and painting denote a great capacity for observation and for spontaneity in the brushstroke. Pacon Naranjo presents himself to us with a great capacity for simplification. In opposition to clearly modern Works, in which the perfect nature of their execution can be observerd, are the ones of freer inspiration which we reproduce here. These are the ones, to date, the field of study in technique and surrounding reality. The pieces become secure; they better capture what is essential, leaving aside everything superfluous.
Ther artista tries to escape from the artificial and conventional for which he has chosen a line that captivates him for its simplicity and authenticity. In these médiums his painting acquires a maturity and a definitive style, which breaks away from traditional affected realism to center itself on creations of his own conception.
From the disposition of lines andcolor Naranjo gains symphonies and harmonies that represent a very particular real world, and he even provoques the sensibility of the spectator; paintings that should be thought provoking, just a as good music makes you thonk, supported by ideas and images. Upon viewing his painting for the first time, the images appear to be drawn with a fixed, and at the same time direct stroke, with such a paramount forcé that we succumb, just like that, to the allure of his creations.
For years this Young painter has fought for the absolute liberty of the artista in termes of choice and treatment of his motifs- The Antonio Roldan Art Gallery owns five good pieces as proo- and at the same time he breaks away from a concept thast is very personal and deeply rooted in American Postmodernism.
Our duty, the duty of this newspaper, is no other tan to stimulate Young artista of immediate future scope, and to confort them in their solitude. I believe we have found one sush painter in Paco Naranjo; from Seville, of confident expression, who doesn´t yield tosimplicity, and who undertakes subject matter with courage. He can express raison d´être of the simplest model, and he knows how to execute the most banal motifs with all the nobility a man is allowed.
Felivia Mejía Santos
Journalist Diario Caribe
It is complicated to classify the works of this artist. The task becomes even more difficult since even he doesn’t want to categorize them: “It is paining that is fused with different tendencies; a mixture of collage and bas-relief. I don’t like to like to be identified with any tendency”.
What is certain is that his art impresses, perhaps because in every painting he gives expression to part of his sensibility and enthusiasm. Paco Naranjo began painting at the age of eight, when he drew “The Beauty of a Horse”. He adds, “I painted comics, it was like an obsession; I would leave my friends and stay at home painting”. He studied at the School of applied Arts in Seville, and the Santa Isabel de Hungría Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Seville. He has shown his paintings in cities of Spain, The United States, Mexico, Africa, and Switzerland among others.
He paints in oil and acrylic, and he makes use of the most original elements, from wood, plastic, glass, to electronic components. “There comes a time when you have to unlearn what you’ve learned and look for your own style.
I want to continue innovating, make my painting dynamic, and give it sound, movement, even smell!” Paco has galleries in Madrid, Boston and New York: “I am now preparing an exposition for The United States, which for me is the Mecca of Art.” Born in Seville, a true Betis soccer team fan, he enjoys taking refuge in his studio, photography, nature, travelling, and being with his friends. “What’s important is that we don’t lose the child we have inside us.”
Pedro L. Nuño De la Rosa
Journalist, art critic, Diario La Verdad de Alicante
I don’t think anyone in their sound judgment and with no less a sound culture. If from these pages certain realists have been criticized, it is because what was exhibited was outdated and antiquated, if not merely commercial or opportunistic, which is even worse. For this we find it instructive and gratifying to observe painters capable of extracting possibilities from magical reality, as is the case of F. Cayetano Naranjo, another consequence of the “Sevillana” school.
Cayetano Naranjo moves within the field of a reinterpretation of the avant guard, not by using “pop” irony but rather from concepts of recycling and blending, bringing together such different styles as surrealism or hyperrealism in the same piece. He borrows from each painter or school what interests him, adding his own observations which go from the sensual to the flight of Icarus, through to pure bizarre caricature, or to the psychological portrait of a mystic from Andalusia.
José María Maldonado
Singer-songwriter and Poet of Ways
To speak well of one’s own work might be an unforgiveable act of immodesty. Still, I have sometimes been able to publicly say something good about two of my records: that they had wonderful jackets! For this I thank my admirable friend, Paco Naranjo, to whom I owe, what’s more, a load of dreams of colors, part of my optimism and my vision of the world. I am proud to be his friend.
To visit his studio is to have the feeling that you have entered a magical space inhabited by a visionary, a living and proximate genius from whom any surprise can be expected. I’ve sometimes seen in his paintings the hand of a scenographer like Fellini, capable of interpreting the human being as comically theatrical. Other times he gives his characters a depth that goes beyond what words can express. But I have always had the certainty of the love that bonds the painter to his creatures. They all inhabit a world created by the artist himself, very much his own, where nothing creaks because everything is exquisitely in place. Objects and characters seem to obey the command of Jean Cocteau, “Demand that the painter be a stage director”.
Paco is not your average painter; he is a creator of universes, which goes beyond the pictorial technique that he uses. Technique is to be expected, like the value of military inscription of old, and it is plain to see that he paints and draws like the classics, or he dedicates himself to constructing his paintings with chips and transistors. It’s all the same. They are all executed with the same mastery. Paco never scorns “scullery work”, as if he made his own the statement by Dalí that there are no slothful works of art.For that he is able to show us his world within, his dreamed-of figures and scenery, with an almost photographic precision. And which is why, not as an expert but rather as a mere spectator, I sometimes have the sensation that I am in the presence of authentic works of art.The fact that I can get into his gallery on the computer produces in me uncontainable joy. I am well aware that a painter is never satisfied with the quality of the reproductions, and that, photographs can only render a poor idea of what his paintings are really like. But at least this gallery allows us to discern his extremely rich universe; to dance his tangos on a mountain top or on the river banks of a magical Guadalquivir; to ride in antique cars through out-of-the-ordinary countryside; to visit his electronic cities, his marvelous popular houses; to converse with exquisite women or humble peasants, and well, to fly like his apples, bitten into or not, like desires come true or dreamed of, to wherever his paintbrush might take us. A self portrait consists of a drawing of his own shadow entitled “Portrait of a Seeker”, and here the artist defines himself. Only a person who seeks could paint those marvelous beaches on which he and everyone else looks for sparkles, shells, stones, forgotten objects… Perhaps the paintings that best reflect the attitude of the artist toward life are those ebb tides which invite one to search, and to curiosity; to scrutinize everything, to be amazed by the slightest detail or to expect any surprise. Paco goes through life like that; like the child that looks along the shore and collects a treasure of shells, pebbles or crabs and who shows it to us with a face full of joy. Any object can turn out to be prodigious to the astonished boy that the artist is; a pair of rusted chimney tongs can be as miraculous as might be his mother appearing up in the sky turned into a little girl riding on a conch shell. The painter lives together with miracles because everything can be achieved through the miracle of painting. A pair of clothes pegs is no less wondrous than apples flying over the rooftops of Seville. Picasso once said that everything is miraculous, and added that he thought it a miracle that we didn’t dissolve in the bath like sugar cubes. Art in itself is a miracle. Paco Naranjo is a believer in that and a producer of wonders. His vision is optimistic even when he paints an unhappy figure, for his sadness will always be enveloped in a beauty that sweetens and consoles the human misery. It may be a matter of elegance because his painting seems elegant and luminous, like an antidote against vulgarity.
It is a luxury to have this marvelous collection of paintings at the click of a mouse, though it might require an effort to imagine their true size and quality. For those of us who have actually seen them it easy to remember them, and be cured on contemplating them of all the vileness that the world news offers us every day. May the gods bless the artist!