I just want to show a work from the Spanish vocational painter Detritus. He is a contemporary artist who could be located inside the Gothic scene, but his personal work is far from conventional neo-gothic artistic style. He paints nightmares with real people as protagonists, he doesn´t want to emphasize beauty but pain and violence. Another characteristic of his paintings is the use of writings as part of the work. They are mostly a way of understanding the complexity of the image.
The current work is entitled “Donde ya no se posan besos van a aparecer llagas” (Where no kisses already lay there will appear sores), as the biggest sentence says in the lower right side of the canvas.
Let´s analyze the painting. There are four old men in several positions and a woman who escapes from the picture in the upper right side walking along. We see also two cryptic circular symbols in the upper left side. There are also several sentences covering different parts of the picture. Each part is defined buy its color: black, orange, violet and brown. There are no gradations but flat colors and each one could design an attitude, it is quite a symbolistic use of the color.
If we look at the four old men we realize that there is only one in different gestures. One is the man sit on the bed thinking, in a position like Rodin’s Thinker. In front of him there is an specular image: it´s the man in the mirror. At the same time the man appears lying down on the bed: the tired man. And, at last, in the first layer, a suffering man down on one knee with the hand in the face moaning. This man appears with a halo, but a black halo. Is he a sinner, the opposite of a saint? Maybe.
The answer to the attitudes of the old man is the woman that walks far from him. She wears a night dress and walks in the way to the moon, who stays over her as a halo. Detritus is linking the woman with the Moon.
At the left side the two symbols drawn in an ancient way: one is a man inside a pentacle with the text “Microcosmos – Sapiens Volens” and the other is the Sun inside a square and a circle with the text “Megacosmos – Ignis – Natura”. We have a clue of the painting: the woman linked to the Moon and the man linked to the Sun.
Now, I translate the main texts that may reveal the whole meaning of the work. The first says: “The decadent man only stops to live under the laws of the atrocious Cosmos if a woman gives shelter to him. The woman preserves the omnipotence given to her by the Cosmos to perpetuate, though she renounces to her reproductive function”.
The second: “When an immense female will sanction in favor of a man, the unarmed male takes refuge in the hug she offers, while the woman assumes the clash with the Cosmos and repulses its harmful radiations”.
With all these elements we can give a closer interpretation: the man has lost his woman, he has no defense against the attack of the Cosmos, he, no longer, has the help of the woman, he is alone and he’s going to die. I think the painted man doesn´t represent an old man himself, but the state of a lonely man, without protection. It´s decadence, it´s desolation, it´s isolation. I think the main meaning of the painting is the weakness of man that has not the support of a woman. It´s an allegory of the lost love. Maybe he has lost her by his sins, maybe infidelity, and because of that the black halo of the sinner appears all around his head.
There are a lot of elements in the painting, so, they transform it in a sort of enigma. I have just given my personal interpretation. This is the right thing: a lot of elements like pieces of a puzzle. Compose your own interpretation.