Hybridisations, couplings of shapes, zoo– and geomorphisms: for four years, over the brilliant course that followed his degree at the Eindhoven Design Academy, Nacho Carbonell has continuously developed an experimental work with powerfully narrative implications, liberating itself from conventions to push established boundaries back even further – those which distinguish between design and contemporary art, functional use and sculpture, restraint and exuberance, beauty and ugliness, violence and gentleness.
‘Luciferase’ is no exception to this, while innovative. For the first time, Nacho Carbonell presents work incorporating light, fifteen pieces edited exclusively by galerie BSL. A collection which is above all a set of living organisms capable of surprising us by their colours, textures and demeanor. ‘The root of this word is “carrier of light” *, explains Nacho Carbonell, and reflects the system used by flora and fauna living in abysses, in the total obscurity found at great depths. Even more than lights, I consider these pieces like light-producing creatures.’
* Luciférase, Latin lux fero: photon-producing enzyme, present in the luminous organs of certain plants and animals.}
What was his first inspiration? A simple pebble, a fragmented stone collected in Spain this summer. Precise and fragile doodles, wire miniatures, experiments – also presented in this exhibition – have followed by driving matter to its limits so that an aesthetic equilibrium emerges.
After experimenting with paper, glass, leather, wood, latex and even corn, here Nacho Carbonell defies the limits of epoxy resin, ‘a liquid material solidified by heat, which lets through the light from the LEDs placed inside.’ These on the one hand synthetic elements (the resin) and on the other technological (the LEDs), develop into bioluminescent creatures at a sophisticated and primitive pace, in a reversal of both technical and aesthetic conventions. Only one of the fifteen pieces contains a bulb, concealed behind the resin which acts as a filter diffusing mystery.
These creations with communicative presence maintain the equilibrium of the opposites which animates any work of nature. In this family, the exterior soft and velvety materials –epoxy resin mixed with different coloured sands, sometimes covered with plaster or metal dust – resemble the skin of an unknown species. In complete contrast, the interior diaphanous and translucent textures, from epoxy resin mixed with coloured pigments, bring to the fore thorns, rocaille, tongues, straps and filaments, sometimes even sharpened dentition. Some of them conjuring up the translucent sparkle of fine stones like amethyst, quartz or malachite; some the seductive eye of a predator from the great depths; others the avid mouth of a carnivorous plant.
So, abissology, mineralogy, vegetology or genetic manipulation…? A little of each as well as humour, tenderness and poetry. For if in spite of its strangeness, Nacho Carbonell’s art succeeds in imposing its own evidence, recognisable among all, it is also because he knows from the start to prompt a dialogue, an emotional connection which appeals to everyone’s imagination, sensibility and capacity to dream.
Born in 1981 in Valencia (Spain), Nacho Carbonell graduated from the Spanish University Cardenal Herrerra C.E.U. (2003) and graduated with distinction from the Design Academy Eindhoven (2007). He works in Eindhoven, Netherlands, where he has set up his studio.
« Luciferase »by Nacho Carbonell
23 rue Charlot 75003 Paris
00 33 1 44 78 94 14
until may 14th 2011