José Bedia

(June, 28 – July 28, 2007)

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Following a Reflection
Mixed media on canvas, 90.5 x 122 cm.
Following a Reflection Free Fall through your Hair That Time… Which Path to Take Breaking the Truce Burning of the Temple Ngunda Bilongo

The world of the invisible and the world that is visible only to those whose gaze surpasses mere appearance: this is what José Bedia’s paintings grant us access to, sparing us the need to ingest the juices of some plant of divine wisdom or submit to an initiate’s strict routine fasting in order to accede to the clairvoyance necessary to understand that man’s essential destiny is one of intimate coexistence with nature—which nourishes him and gave him life—and the cosmos—which teaches him to comprehend the infinite. Years ago, José Bedia said, “I have decided to become the heir to a series of traditions, and right now I’m working to tie together all of those pieces.” Specifically, the artist creates his own tradition from the “poetics” of the ancestral traditions he has gathered together from different parts of the world, a visual tradition that reminds us that we tread upon an ancient world where humankind is only a recent inhabitant, perplexed before the complexity of our enigmas and symbols. To help decipher them, he makes use of the spirits and deities that have lived in this world since its conception, who have seen it all and will not be alarmed even by the deviations of contemporary man, who, barricaded behind his paraphernalia of industry and war, lives on completely distanced from what should have been his destiny. Bedia’s content-driven, didactic purpose becomes clear in the “scheme” behind his compositions, where the drawing articulates a transcendental situation, highlighted by the titles which he draws by hand, and which act as judgments, invocations, or incantations that guide the reading of the work—even when they are words from an unknown language—and whose calligraphic, quasi-typographical singularity is incorporated, without friction, into the painting. Bedia succeeds in depicting in his canvases the simultaneity of realities harbored by this world, where man and living beings, the spirits that predated us and the deities of earth and sky, encounter and recognize one another as entities who are all part of a single, inscrutable plan.