Germán Gómez was born in 1972 in Gijón (Spain) and lives and works in Madrid, where he also studied and received his M.A. from Complutense University. He is shown internationally in many important exhibitions, in Europe, Asia, and in America, and he has also gained a number of prestigious art prizes.
His works puts him in line with the tradition founded by German artist Annegret Soltau, the “Stitched Photographs”. Soltau started making these in 1975 in a number of variants, and even Andy Warhol worked in this medium in the Eighties. All three artists are, despite a number of common aspects, very different in their approach.
While physical processes are integrated into Soltau’s images in order to combine body and mind at eye-level and add something haptic and textile to the photographic medium, Warhol uses the textile techniques as a defining metaphor for combination and context.
Germán Gómez has advanced farthest in this further development of the collage- and assemblage-technique. He uses the stitching as a reinforcement of the individual and unique. Every work is a unique piece although it rests on reproducible elements.
He always treats the male figure, as a full figure seen from the back or as a portrait of a head in profile. Mostly designed as shifted reduplications or repaired fragmentations, the stitching is responsible for the reintegration of the body. Sometimes the cracks remain to be seen more strongly, like in the “De padres y hijos”-series (Of fathers and sons), sometimes the stitches are more prominent in the foreground, sometimes there is an almost even surface like in some of the “Condenado”-series (The damned).
The latter is influenced by Michelangelo’s frescoes of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The characters in Michelangelo’s fresco, however, serve narrative purposes, in the works of Gómez the turn into life-sized individuals showing the injuries of contemporary life. On may also think of the “patchwork”-identity (Heiner Keupp) of today’s people. Identity, also in the sense of being authentic and original, has already been analysed by Goethe (Tame Invectives, 1797: “My build from father I inherit …”) and is discussed today for the lack of a central force of identity building. Art itself can, and this is also a subject here, be turned into a design for identity.
The fanning out of, for instance, the faces also brings into discussion the diversity of human urges, embedded in the metaphor of the face being the mirror of the soul. And also in Oscar Wilde’s “Portrait of Dorian Gray”, Gómez’s faces do relate to. Gómez’s Dorian Grays, however, remain unknown to the beholder and that’s the way they stay. But by the traces in their faces they all touch the underlying identical deep structure.
Germán Gómez at Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, 09.02.2013 - 20.04.2013.
The works by the artist are presented at various exhibitions and international art fairs, such as: Museum for Modern Art in Barranquilla, Columbia; Museum for Modern Art, Guatemala; Museum of Fine Arts, Sao Paulo; Spanish Pavillon at the Biennale XXIV in Alexandria, Egypt; Pinta, London; ARCO, Madrid; KIAF, Seoul; Scope, Basel; Art Stage, Singapur; ART, Chicago; Palm Beach Contemporary, Florida.