El Invitado/The Guest

El Invitado/The Guest

Oil on canvas – 28 x 40 inches

We’re enjoying a handful of salted almonds and a glass of cold white wine on a Sunday afternoon in an old tavern in Barcelona. The painting is called, “El Invitado/The Guest.” Perhaps it should have been titled “Invisible Triangle,” because of the three corners in the painting: the woman in the patch of light on the left, we the viewers in another patch of light on the right, and the one in the middle, the one only she can see.

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Homage to a Master

Memorable images are often mysterious. This photograph is hardly memorable, but it manages to pose some questions: Did this man with the brush paint the landscape? If the answer is “yes,” he seems oddly indifferent (or perhaps sad?) about his accomplishment. On the other hand, if the answer is “no,” then why is he posing with brush and palette?

The answer is, no, he did not paint it. The artist who did was an obscure Spanish painter named Pastor, and the man’s expression reveals an inner conflict: He has been asked to do something he does not want to do: his closest friend, Paco Julian Portoles, has asked him to destroy Pastor’s painting.

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