Curator & Art
Juan Francisco Casas was born in La Carolina (Jaén) and he is one of the most well-known Spanish artists world-wide. He was awarded many times and he has participated in art galleries all over the world. Because of that, he became one of the most promising artists abroad.
His main works are paintings and drawings made by ball-point pen, in order to depict very realistic images inspired by his own pictures, which gives to his work an autobiographical sense. They deal with topical subjects that show things about our daily lives, such as youngsters, sex or parties. These elements are frequently used, together with a huge sense of humor and erotism.
Women are a recurring theme in his work, a woman who is free to show herself as she really is, without boundaries. A modern woman who breaks pre-established archetypes from classical art. Characters looking for their identities and showing themselves honestly in front of a camera. This example can be found in his exhibition in Fernando Pradilla’s art gallery. (A)UTOPIC began on 24th April and it is the fifth time this gallery displays exclusively his works. (A)UTOPIC refers to a self-portrait of Marianne Breslauer made in 1929. After watching closely to the picture, Francisco Casas considered the idea of people showing themselves as something necessary, something to “know you in the privacy and show the result”. From this idea, the artist began to ask people in Facebook to share some pictures for his following work. These pictures have to fulfill these two requirements: They have to be a self-portrait made in front of a mirror and they have to show the device used to make the pictures. The artist received several pictures from which he chose and drew sixty of them with his typical dark and blue ball-point pen.
After a year full of work, his works are being exhibited in the art gallery. Despite it abounds with small creations, as soon as you go in, there are three huge drawings on the wall. They represent Casas’ creative style and his idea of being a fine artist. “Casas usually fulfils two different roles: the one who takes pictures –used by him to do his drawings- and the one being photographed. This idea creates a sense of mutual understanding that establishes a way of communication between the artist and the onlookers”.
However, the main idea of (A)UTOPIC is not only to show J.F.Casas’ artistic career. On the one hand, the concept of self-portrait or selfie is used to break the traditional pictures, the uniqueness of a single photo. On the other hand, these personal self-portraits that disclose our privacy are now available to show people the end of this aforementioned privacy.
How about (A)UTOPIC? It is made of two English words. Autopic is abbreviation of “auto picture” (self-portrait or selfie) and “Utopic” (Utopia or Utopian) the idea of a perfect world, or internet here. This name also makes reference to the same concepts born from a picture of Marianne Breslauer.
Translated by: José María Ares Martínez