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My Spain -The Paintings of Zil Hoque

I would not call myself an impulsive painter; rather the experiences of my travels are collated in the form of charcoal studies, colour studies and then the final symphony on the main canvas.
The imagery of Spain in all its facets is an impression upon which I apply the plastic qualities of oil paint. Colours become real light and space within the canvases, building the surface into a composed impasto and optical contrast. Light against dark fat against thin and so the drama grows.
My deep interest in the masters such as Goya, Velasquez, Rembrandt and Bacon is echoed in their handling of the stuff of paint, the description of the subject is a joy to see when the medium becomes one and the same as the observation. These issues constantly pre occupy my mind whilst painting. It is never enough to see colour sitting on the canvas in a passive way, it has to move, illuminate and intrude our physical space. Only when this has been satisfied and on close inspection, should we see the subject emerge from the canvas.

Matador abstracted

Matador abstracted

Spain has always been an obsession for Zil Hoque: it’s art, language,symbolic ritual and cultural history.Music is also an essential inspiration,informing the rhythms of the paint.He reveres the great figurative painters Goya and Velasquez,returning to them for constant inspiration-how else does a contemporary painter place himself in the western figurative tradition? Indian born, his influences are numerous and he acknowledges a nomadic heritage.

Hoque’s paintings have always had a recurrent visual references: the bull,butterfly or dancing figures (flamenco) but it is wrong to get lost in the iconography. They were props for the dramas…compositions containing personal citations…

Andrew Stewart (forward from “Los Elementos” series catalogue)