STOA

Port of Estepona, Edif. Puertosol Of.24, 29680 Estepona, Malaga, Spain

info@remove.me @stoagallery.com

www.stoagallery.com

 

 

 

 

 

‘The Bullfighter Ritual’ series presented in this exhibition at Volta, consists of a sequence of paintings that I have been working on for several years. I have endeavored to delve into the man behind the façade of a bullfighter, exploring the traditional ritual passed down from generation to generation, to reveal the transformation behind man to bullfighter. From elaborate preparatory rituals, to the notorious duel in the bullring, a humble man turns hero, a demi-god if you will, where the concept of death is ever present.

Bullfighting is an ancient Mediterranean attraction dating back to early ritual ceremonies in Crete where men, priests and even women faced the bull. Being an artist from Spain, it is natural therefore, that I am interested in this tradition. I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with two bullfighters (one now retired, Michelangelo, and another still actively working, David Galván), who both generously invited me to observe their preparatory rituals before a bullfighting performance. I was able to document their rituals step by step, watching their every move and listening to their explanations of their feelings, sensations, doubts and fears, of which they had many, before their performance in the bullring.

The ritual, almost liturgical, completely captivated me. With every piece of clothing that was stripped off, they would take a step closer to inner catharsis. Conducted in an isolated environment, the rite is delicate and formal, yet fuelled with emotion. It is discernibly clear that the bullfighter lucidly visualises what is to come, and somehow slips into a profound state of progressive self-absorption; any fears that he once held are completely overcome.

Using oil on canvas and acrylic on panel, I have tried to capture the moments that impacted me most when witnessing this incredible transformation from man to bullfighter.
Conchi Alvarez, artist

Conchi Alvarez
Torero de grana y oro (Bright red and gold bullfighter)
Oil on canvas, 160 x 100 cm / 63 x 39.4 inches
Conchi Alvarez
Capoteando
Acrylic on panel, 70 x 50 cm / 27.5 x 19.7 inches
Conchi Alvarez
Besando la medalla (Kissing the medal)
Acrylic on panel, 60 x 45 cm / 23.6 x 17.7 inches
Conchi Alvarez
Determinación (Determination)
Acrylic on panel, 60 x 45 cm / 23.6 x 17.7 inches
Conchi Alvarez
Ensoñación (Daydream)
Acrylic on panel, 60 x 45 cm / 23.6 x 17.7 inches
Conchi Alvarez
Tocado con montera
Acrylic on panel, 60 x 45 cm / 23.6 x 17.7 inches
Conchi Alvarez
Explicando mi verdad (Explaining my truth)
Acrylic on panel, 70 x 50 cm / 27.5 x 19.7 inches
Conchi Alvarez
Cara a cara (Face to face)
Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 cm / 28.4 x 23.6 inches
Conchi Alvarez
Comienzo del paseíllo
Acrylic on panel, 60 x 45 cm / 23.6 x 17.7 inches
Conchi Alvarez
Inicio del ritual (Beginning of the Ritual)
Oil on linen, 114 x 146 cm / 45 x 57.5 inches