The exhibition features the Spanish–born artist’s new paintings and drawings produced in Tangier, Morocco, where he recently moved from Madrid.
Burgos’ expressionistic work captures both dramatic and un-dramatic moments of life. Following his Spanish predecessors Velázquez and Goya, Burgos tries to maintain a balance between the ordinary and extraordinary, timely and timeless, real and surreal. His art dazzles the viewer with misty splashes of paint, intense highlights, unusual perspectives, and dimensional distortions. Most recently, his two-panel paintings depict parallel scenes of distinguished subjects that seem unrelated each other. In the end, the mystery of Burgos’ world creates the impact of a disturbing but refreshing dream.
Tangier, a multicultural city of Muslims, Christians, Jews, and foreign immigrants in Northern Morocco, has historically attracted artists, most notably Delacroix and Matisse, as well as the Beat Generation writers. In the 1940s and 1950s, the city was an International Zone and served as a playground for eccentric millionaires, secret agents, speculators, and gamblers. Apart from the unique light of the African sun and the breathtaking Sahara, it is this free, artistic spirit and fascinating people that most captivates Burgos.
The most visible Moroccan subjects in Burgos’ new paintings are local animals such as camels and horses. (This is not so surprising since throughout his career Burgos has chosen to paint animals such as elephants, bulls, buffalos, and bears.) A “winning” horse is an especially favorite character that appears repeatedly. In one of his pair of paintings, a man in a traditional Moroccan robes with a camel and another man with birds are shown side by side. Burgos depicts these ancient subjects with fresh dignity and gracefulness.