humility, play, beauty
Text: Maria Ángeles Sánchez

phillips collection (1988)

phillips collection 1988

Beauty. That is the key. In the search for it. In finding it.
Pilar Pequeño’s work reflects, obviously, reality. But it is a reality that has been decided upon beforehand, and on which the author has for many years placed a continuing wager, and for which she does not spare emotions, thoughts, and hours. Technique. Effort.

Play. When asked, perhaps as the result of an absurd interest that overlooks the evidence (with which, given its richness, we should perhaps be satisfied), why, in this photo or that photo, she has done such and such a thing, she answers with refreshing simplicity "How should I know? To play a bit longer! I’m just trying things out. I’m having fun".

What a relief! In these times so lacking in creativity, reflection, and inner richness, we can still occasionally find, hidden behind the muddled theoretical discourses, the more unintelligible the better, a fresh breeze of authenticity whose presence refreshes the air.

Humility. Just picture her in the throes of the creative process, hidden beneath a black cloth with just a tiny hole in it big enough only for her lens to peek out. This keeps her reflection off of the subjects that she photographs; water, glasses, pitchers.

However, from my point of view, this shows a much more profound and symbolic feature, one that is easy to see in her work, that the beauty of the transformed reality is always above the person who was able not only to capture it, but also, basically, stimulate and therefore create it.  

despedida. A. Guarda (1997)

phillips collection 1988

All in an intimate, sensitive, meticulous tone that from time to time - as witnessed here in these pages - steps out into the outside world, combining both discourses, without continual solution, in which coherence is ever present, albeit in an imperceptible manner.

Even assuming that they might have come about by pure chance, what exactly are those lights and shadows in the living room at the Phillips Mansion, which houses the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., and encompasses many works by Edward Hopper, one of whose most famous pieces is shown immediately following, also enveloped in lights and shadows, in the guise of a solitary poster, at the family house in A Guarda (Pontevedra)?

There is a lapse of nine years between the two photographs. In the second, Pilar was saying goodbye, with scarcely two snaps of her shutter, to the home where she had spent many of the happiest summers of her childhood, and which she later credits with having introduced her to one of her favourite painters. 
With continuity, truth, and total dominance of her resources, Pilar Pequeño plays with beauty, humbly, interpreting it through her beautiful female eyes.
This book is the product of that happy union.  

Colección Photobolsillo nº 12
Editado por La Fabrica. Madrid 1999


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