DE SANGRE Y DEVOCIÓN
Instalación / Multimedia / 2006
AN ASSESSMENT: Much of Jesus Flores unusual art talent is centered in his ability to project tension (e.g., sadness, uncertainty, injustice, frailty) into a calm, beautiful rendering where it is least expected. It is very subtle tension, giving it great strength and endurance in the viewer's mind. It is humane, almost gentle tension, something the viewer can relate to. It is psychological tension, causing the viewer to search for answers that are not there. But mostly, it is tension between the perfection of the rendering and the imperfection of the subject matter that carries the impact. Flores' extraordinary draftsmanship depicts an imperfect situation perfectly.
Nearly all "expressionist" realists (or "Magic Realists" or whatever they're called) paint or draw moods or feelings using some sort of STAGE PROPS -- somber tones, oddly-posed figures or structures, unusual angles or backgrounds, blood, sex, weapons, etc. Most seem so engrossed in making their point that they either overstate the point or miss it entirely. Flores work goes to the middle ground. As an artist who is well past 70, I am nowhere nearly this young man's equal in capturing such a subtle, powerful impact on canvas and paper. If I were doing a painting of a ragged man playing a guitar and/or begging for money, for example, I would do the scene just as it actually is. Flores, on the other hand, probably would render an incredible expression on the beggar's face, draw (in exquisite detail) every rip and tear in the clothes the man was wearing and perhaps even position him near the doorway of an exclusive uptown shop selling men's expensive, high-fashion suits. The view ar would be easily carried inside the picture by Flores' impressive draftsmanship, only to be confronted by the subtle discordance, the imperfection, of the situation depicted.
What I am trying to say is, Jesus is well on his way to becoming a philosopher with a paintbrush, a critical requirement for almost every well-known artist. It is extremely important, however, that his path to this future NOT be met with the trials and frustrations so many past artists have endured. He is a very normal young man not tortured by angst or personal tragedy, someone who is a great pleasure to know. I hope he can continue to be this way.
At this point, Flores does not follow any procedural formulas in developing his work as Cezanne and Seurat did, nor does he seek to announce his personal state of mind or objectives through his pictures. Jesus seems to be merely reporting (albeit expertly) rather than editorializing about a subject or scene. There is great power in painting or drawing a precise rendition of a scene without "deliberately" painting a point of view (although it is there, of course, merely by the choice of subject). A painting or drawing of this kind "slips under the radar" of the viewer, as it were, because of its realism, making it alll the more effective.