“The peculiar artworks that Gonzalo Paramo created during his residency at ArtAmari in Crete in the fall of 2013, all inspired by tools and vessels used traditionally for the production of oil, seem to be in tune with the specific long-standing inquiries of his artistic expression: the search for the systems that develop between the designing and the material relations and the internal organization that sustains and brings them to life. The materials and tools he uses are simple – ‘primitive’, such as wooden surfaces, different sorts of paper, glue, rice paper, linos, acrylics, ink, cutters, chisel and rope, but it is exactly this material and gestural emphasis that characterizes his work that offers an elucidating example of the ways in which the mastery of his chosen artistic technique serves the successful materialization of his personal visions. The interdependence between the materials and the forms created is firm, as is Paramo’s intervention that incorporates both the subjugation of the materials to meet his goals and the inclusion of his own mystical world of elaborate symbolisms and correlations.
The artist uses successively different methods to achieve the final visual result: the initial drawing pattern on the wooden surface undergoes carving out, that is subtraction, elimination of the material, which is though later used as a way of filling, when he plugs up the chiseled trails with white paper, then glues brown paper on it (which he makes himself from tea bags) to create a relief of lines. The work might belong to the category ‘mixed media’, but the artistic process includes mainly methods of drawing and engraving to achieve sculptural surfaces and morphoplastic qualities.
It becomes thus evident that in Paramo’s works the surface is the place where the idea is worked out, carved out, added, covered up, literally and metaphorically, a plane of exercise for his artistic intentions. The superposition of materials and their processing coat the inaugural step of the artistic work, without though moving away from it morphically- that is from the origin-, but enhancing it through the successive application of the next layers of materials that cannot, but be held also responsible for the final image of the work. There seems to be a functional, organic dependence of every stage of proceeding from the next one, like the single steps of a ladder, but also a conceptual one that fulfills the requirements for the works’ existence and reason for existing.
Under this light, the content of his works is to a large extend the very artistic process itself, but it can only be fully understood when taking also into consideration his complex encoded ideas, messages and associations (free or otherwise), that range from alchemistic allusions and mathematical symbolisms, to some very individual practices, such as the burial of paper before it is used in the final artwork and the use of reverse or mirror writing in Spanish and English.
Paramo’s works are characterized by an organized structure that forms a system of concrete relations which seems to constitute simultaneously an autonomous piece and a part of an ensemble. That might be the reason why he intuitively connects the individual ‘pieces’ of his “7 Fibonacci III” with rope, in an attempt to assemble, and re-unite them into their primary entity, restoring thus their inherent interrelations. He also employs elaborate mental and semiological interplays by combining nature with science (the round form of his pattern is inspired by the round stones used for the pressure of olives to extract their juice, the vertical arrangement of the wavy lines of the pattern follow a correspondence with the Fibonacci numbers, while the rest are horizontally ordered) that renders imperative a way for deciphering the
interrelations that dwell in the specific work.
Parallel, but also contradictory to his intuitive, mystical conduct of work, there is a kind of control that pervades both his artistic modus operandi in technical terms and the prediction of the future emerging forms, as natural consequences of his well-thought-out, tight artistic plan and execution. These work both as a pre-meditation, a mental scheme that engulfs his personal visual and intellectual inventory and as a resulting artistic object, in terms of matter and aesthetics. In Paramo’s works the material, gesture and concept not only co-exist, but merge into one visual and mental entity.”
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