I first came across Esther Pérez Hernando at her Studio in Madrid late in December 2004. Initially the main propose of our encounter was to exchange ideas on the most suitable gallery in Madrid where her work would be exhibited; through which the blueprint of the master-plan to develop this booklet depicting the main features of her production was born.
As other architects, she has driven her career towards her true vocation, Painting.
MOSS is the pseudonym chosen and devised by the artist which may as well be the name given to a little town in Norway where artists meet up occasionally to exchange and discuss ongoing tendencies. She had already commented on this when interviewed by Nina Pérez who had covered an article about the artist during her exhibition in New York in October 1996; the collection comprising collage (1991 – 1993) and he cast-iron mobile sculptures (1994 – 1996).
Satisfied finally after having discovered her own style that would not identify herself with the characteristic personality of other artists, MOSS, pseudonym of Esther Pérez Hernando (Madrid, born 1957) studied at the School of Architecture in Madrid and graduated at the age of 23 to participate in an architecture competition and her project ‘Espacio Simbolico Experimental’ Experimental Symbolic Space was awarded the Swiss Award – The Silver Hexagon in 1983.
She brought up a highly singular building facing the Sierra de Gredos, in the Tiétar Valley, surrounded by oak, holm oak and cork oak trees. It was there that Esther (MOSS) established her home, a building with an air of scenography or set design and in the lines of Tuhk architecture. Its rear façade is raised above the swimming-pool in consonance with the singular nature created for that purpose. It is within this three-dimensional space where the artist begins to ‘provoke’ with a creative attitude that would be impossible to ignore in artistic terms. The spectator’s reaction would be very different in each case depending on his/her tastes or sensitivity; though no one would be unaffected.
MOSS has always lived and worked in Madrid. From 1985 to 1995 she co-ordinates her profession as an architect while operating from her studio concentrating on artistic-design Project campaigns focusing on single family houses and furnishings through her true vocation – Painting.
It has much to do with a period of constant experimentation where she would apply diverse material in painting, sculpture, fotorriontaies, fotografíasu; a quest that would intensify with the passing of time.
Since 1988 she dedicates exclusively in the quest for a unique and personal style; something that she has wholly obtained today. During this period, her work develops within the surreal- abstract overcoming her visual references on painters much admired such as Miró, Tapies, Guinovart…
As far as technique is concerned, she employs acrylic, paste, textile, china-ink pastes, all well blended and harmoniously capacitated seeking that chromatic contrast; while the use of the color black becomes as essential as a constant value.
Color for MOSS is a highly important tensing element; red and black combinations, something very Spanish, obtaining a work that would provoke inevitable shock to the spectator.
Most of the work is comprised of ‘active zones’ in the sense that picture superficies occupy and activate by means of its color. She applies her own hands or a brush to create masses that may represent wounds or dramatic experiences. Whether tactile or ductile; the material is the instrument to transmit the state of the painter with a universal approach.
Some of her work may be perceived through the protrudances caused by the amount of pictured material seemingly managed automatically, brushes that seem to act upon by itself, as long as it produces that sense of an abstract sensation on the canvas or carton used for the larger formats.
One of her most necessary instruments that condiment her work is the tragic sense of allusion towards the great layers of black; though skillfully contrasted with the explosion of color, above all reds that represent the idea behind beginning – end or just equally birth – death.
The work may be entitled without having any reference whatsoever in content or appearance if not with the intention to capture and provoke the sensitivity of the spectator, taking for instance:
‘It’s so clean it stinks’, ‘No, not tonight’, ‘Little cubes of white Bimbo-bread’, ‘The Zebra’s Prick’ ,…
Hence, seeking to motivate surprise to whoever that would contemplate and to not leave out anyone indifferently. In order to perceive that, one is directly faced with the canvas, no prior sketches, no memory and paintings are usually of very thick material paste. The composition is based on the color, and not on drawings; the temperamental impulse acting as the base for contradictory elements. On occasions the resulting work, always within the parameters of the abstract represents still life.
Non thematic, although one meticulous observer would discover the coincidences; all the compositions have been carefully meditated.
The final result is delirious and even more contradictory. We perceive movement in the forms and in the compositions as the opposite and opposing elements were applied with an extra-ordinary form of energy.