Santiago Ríos. “Agrupación Artística Aragonesa”. 2006.

Participation and synaesthesia

This is a substantial, enthusiastic and very interesting exhibition which, by displaying a high number of pieces spanning along the last ten years, creates a fervent allegory of musical passion. Most of them are drawings performed in a sketch-like fashion that were made by Santiago Ríos during the concerts. However, a more complicated process takes place before the final results is presented to us. For instance, ink on paper, digital treatment and printing, also on paper, and watercolour. Or wash drawing. Or even oil. We are shown representations of the performers, from solo players to full orchestras, always at work, never passive, inasmuch as movement, as well as live sound, is an essential motivation for the beholder.

There are notable starting and technical differences in the coherence and detail of figures, as well as varying solidness and nervous gestures which at one time delineate and blur the characters. Then we get to the three largest picture, which are similarly performed although finished on canvas. Related to “action painting”, which is quite prone to free and uncontrolled movement, their abstraction points to their expressive origin, which is not difficult to point out here considering the nervous features mentioned above. The references to Kandinsky are therefore not unexpected, since music also inspires Santiago Ríos while he is painting. Once again we should be reminded of the significance which synesthesia, i.e. subjective perception, had on historical avant-garde movements.

Angel Azpeitia (tranlated into English by Enrique Lafuente)