The future of Velazquean painting: Miguel Ángel Pé...

The future of Velazquean painting: Miguel Ángel Pérez Uría

When a few months ago I theorized about the painter Miguel Ángel Pérez Uría (Oviedo, 1977), I appreciated that his painting has a strong component coming from master Diego Velázquez. It is not just about inspiration, although it is true that Pérez feels influenced by the baroque painter. In his particular case, it is a way of understanding figurative art by Velázquez, which is based on the concrete as opposed to the abstract. This means that Pérez captures reality as he observes it, and precisely for this reason the depicted reality can never be totally objective, since it passes through the filter of the gaze, which is subjective. Our eyes interpret reality through the sense of sight, but not all people see the same as others. I am not just talking about diseases, although both diseases of the eyes and the mind are important here. In general, what I want to say is that the look is personal, and each person sees more what they want or what they interpret; there is an important point of subjectivity.

Miguel Ángel Pérez Uría, Pedazos, 2021. Oil on canvas, 116 x 89 cm. Courtesy the artist

According to the philosopher Rodolfo Gutiérrez Simón, Velázquez – like Miguel de Cervantes – understood this idea, representing reality in an increasingly apparent way, but not insubstantial, since reality is definitive, an instant and an interpretation. In the same way, Pérez agrees with this thesis and, being a follower of it, in his latest works he has exhausted his peculiar figuration of a Velazquean aspect, which results in a markedly post-impressionist technique, to focus on discovering his deepest significance. He has realized the true value of abstraction in painting, since, as reality is always condemned to imprecision – by our eyes – the best thing is to try to get to its foundations, rescuing its most synthetic forms in a repeated exercise of experimentation.

Miguel Ángel Pérez Uría, Caballos con girasoles, 2023. Oil on canvas, 73 x 91 cm. Courtesy the artist

The most recent pieces by our protagonist are characterized precisely by the predominance of sketching figures in the incessant search for the essence of reality. Furthermore, Pérez, who works with photography to paint, recognizes that there is nothing interesting in imitating reality, neither what we see nor photographic, so he decides to incorporate abstract parts in his works in combination with clearly recognizable pictorial motifs. These parts with an abstraction tendency are created thanks to brush strokes that do not appeal to specific shapes and also through the abundant colour mixed and selected with astuteness. His painting is done conscientiously, so there is a limit to what is spontaneous, although he does tend, at times, to quick execution due to his predilection for the blurred appearance of the painting.

Miguel Ángel Pérez Uría, Ofidio, 2023 (serie Pecado original). Oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm. Courtesy the artist

Now, his works, featuring – as usual for the artist – landscapes, intimate scenes, portraits, nudes, creatures coming from his personal imagination, have a different look. Pérez experiments with abstraction and its degrees, following the art historian Siegfried Giedion. In some cases, Pérez decides to resort to the construction of pictorial motifs using geometric shapes, in a kind of cubistization of reality, looking towards the tradition of the first avant-gardes. Thus, he manages to renew figurative painting and deconstructs it until reaching the basic forms. In conclusion, his exploration is constant, resorting to the sources of art history and, above all, his own plastic research. Some of his pieces are currently exhibited in the group exhibition Raíces, exhibited at the Museo del Bierzo (León, Spain), which closes on December 8th after the opening occurred on May 18th (International Museum Day), so that the public interested in his art will be able to see it first-hand after visiting the Museo del Bierzo.

Andrea García Casal


Various artists, Raíces
18/05/2023 – 08/12/2023
Museo del Bierzo
C\ del Reloj, 5, 24402 Ponferrada, León, Spain



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