Antonio Jimenez, by Antonio Soler
In a photograph, a photograph of only one eye, he’s got the face of Rembrandt. He’s got the look of Rembrandt in one of his last selfportraits. He has seen creation. Those pictures have grown in front of that look. He has been just a witness, a medium, an executor of what, no one knows who, dictated to the ear. It is the Antonio Jimenez of the abyss who talks to the other one, to that one who still has a gesture, a face, a quick image of sharp child. He knows there’s more than one voice within him. He knows that an individual is that, a sum of voices. And he also knows that an artist is the one who knows how to silence all voices and listen to only one when he is in opposite the canvas, wood or paper.
He learnt it a long time ago, looking at himself in the mirror of his canvas. He didn’t have any other school. Antonio Jiménez is the son of the intuition, that’s why the mistery is more present in him than in the rest of people who come from books and academies. He is a child from peripheries and beaches who know the feeble scaffolding of the reason in that moment when colors start mixing. Everything starts and finishes there, all logics and arguments get lost there too. Searching for explanations, threads in the labyrinth, he says what he is may be related to that old sailor who worked as cook in a small fishing boat, his father. There’s something magic in the combination of seasonings and colours, in the investigation of flavour and colour. But Antonio Jimenez, that boy whose father wanted to keep away from that alchemy of what finally was the axis of his life. Málaga, Madrid, París. Several decades past opposite canvases woods and sands. That boy who wasn’t going to be a sailor has sailed much more remote seas, we don’t know if he was on board of a chalupa, trasatlantic or warsip. He is on an invisible ship.
He has painted portraits of nooneknow how many monsters, angels, tirans, rainforests, animals, ghosts, dreams, horrors and pieces of poems. And all of them are he. The luggage of his soul. That’s his history and that’s his self-portrait, as the authentic self-portrait of Rembradt is tthe addition of all his self-portraits, spears, pincels, hats and darkened faces in the night round, that one of the King Baltasar, the ones of those enriched traders from Netherlands. The face of the artist is the addition of all his pictures, thousands of metres or kilometres he painted.
Jiménez says he doesn’t know where he found the time, where the necessary years to perform such a big and meticulous work when brushstrokes were of milimetres are. Masterpieces keep appearing from his study, from the piles leaning against the wall, from all around the world, and he doesn’t know how he could paint all that material now hanging on stretches or piled up against the walls. Logic keeps being broken, arithmetic gets elusive when related to creation. All the crew was at the service of one voice, the one of a wise skipper, the one of who takes the leads when the artist imposes on all people inhabiting himself.