Congratulations to the winner of the SHOWDOWN competition, Ximo Gascón, and his work “Fulla“. Out of close to 3000 entries, his artwork will go on to display at the Saatchi Gallery in London. He will also receive US$1,000.
Please tell us about yourself:
XG: I live and work in the town of L’Alcúdia, which is in the Ribera del Xuquer area of Valencia (Spain). I am fifty-eight years old and dedicate myself to teaching in a primary school and creating art. Being a teacher allows me to help my students learn about culture, and introduces them to life with a spirit of personal freedom and a democratic sense towards others.
I paint the world that surrounds me, and whatever it suggests or evokes in me. I am motivated by my love for people, my love for nature and my love for both true and dream-inspired realities.
Tell us what inspired this piece you submitted for SHOWDOWN:
XG: Looking very closely at a dried thistle leaf, I became aware of its Baroque structure and its defence mechanisms. I was able to use the idea it transmitted to me as an artistic metaphor, representing the struggle between the leaf and the abstract elements that attack it. I was also inspired by my reading of a sonnet by the Spanish poet Miguel Hernández (1910-1942). The image appears as a motive in his book “El Rayo Que no Cesa” (“The Unceasing Lightning”). The concept was deeply rooted in my subconscious and came out in the form of a painting.
When Joan Miró was asked the same questions that you have asked me here, he replied that painting a picture is very easy, you simply have to read a poem and repeat it over and over, in the end you will have a painting. I think he was right.
The painting was completed in the 80′s and it has been a very pleasant surprise to see that after a SHOWDOWN, it was well worth it. I am completely in tune with the Charles Saatchi philosophy. His enthusiasm for promoting contemporary art with complete independence and freedom from stereotypes coincides one hundred percent with my concept of an artist’s function in today’s world.
Saatchi Online is currently accepting new submissions for the next SHOWDOWN. Voting starts Dec. 23. To enter your work into SHOWDOWN, go to http://saatchionline.com/showdown