Chema Cobo

Chema Cobo (Tarifa, Cádiz, 1952) is a key painter in Spanish contemporary art. At the beginning, he was strongly related to the ‘Nueva Figuración Madrileña’ (New Figuration in Madrid). In seventies he works in a playful way, but in the eighties his painting is based on rhetoric of sublime and in baroque allegory, which performs the relationship between culture and memory. In fact, from eighties, Cobo takes distance with his initial influence and connects with international art movements such as neo-impressionism and transavantgarde.

The artist insists on using conceptual approaches for creating his paintings. Cobo’s art is both intense and extensive so it must be organized into different stages. In each of the stages, he employs a wide range of stylish resources. He is attracted to the verbal as well as the visual. The starting point for his works are thoughts and written statements, which can be appreciated in his book “Aforismos” (Amnesia I and II). At the beginning of the 1990s the Joker appears on an ongoing basis for creating an anonymous masquerade that remind us in a way of Max Ernst’s Loplop. Currently he is working on the Crisis of Representation.

The art of Cobo moves between two realities: first on the one inside the canvas (codified as illusion) and another outside the canvas (codified as reality). What he argues is that both are encoded: there is no simple access to an unencrypted reality, because our perception is involved in all representations, whether or not pictorial.

His work forms part of museums and public collections such as CAAC Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (Seville, Spain), Colección Los Bragales (Santander, Spain), Kunstmuseum (Bern, Switzerland), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA), MNCARS Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid, Spain) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, USA).