THE LUNAR ART OF LUÍS SOARES


When we contemplate the pictoral work of Luís Soares, we do not resist the temptation of transporting ourselves, in our imaginary world, to the basement of Garay Road, in Buenos Aires, where the visionary Jorge Luís Borges has situated the little sphere of multicoloured reflexes, of an al-most dazzling fulgency, where we may observe, without appo-sition, the miniature images of yesterday's, today's and tomorrow's world. Just like Borges in the Aleph, Luís Soares says - in the presence of canvas, of the white paper or of the virgin board - that the enumeration, even if partial, of an infinite en-semble, is an unsolvable problem, and when one decides to disclose the interior ghosts, one tends to represent them in a multivisionary way. Each thing represents what it is; however, each thing is, simultaneously, a part of a whole, an ensemble that consubstantiates itself in a point which contains every-thing: the microcosm of the alchemists and of the cabalists, the mythical "multum in parvo". That is the reason why, in his work, exists, almost always, a kind of veil or aura that embraces everything, unites and transforms it in a whole. In fact, for the painter from Cascais, the singular figure simply does not exist. His preferences - becoming more and more lyric as his career progre-sses - find their way in the juxtaposition. When the painter initiates his work, he knows exactly how it is going to start; nevertheless, he rather not know how it is going to end. Both the trace and inspiration work for him, drawing the lines, sowing the colours, shading the composition. To let the lines flow is a danger that does not scare the author, for he knows how to master them. Luís Soares belongs to the group of painters that write visual poetry. The lines he draws are, in fact, poems, where the human figure is always emphasized and contemplated in all the possible angles. A face - and I return to the Aleph - is a face; but it represents, simultaneously, all the imaginable faces. His passion for the human face, especially the feminine one, reveals a lunar passion. The Portuguese painter tends to represent the feminine face in profile, with thin nose and round visage, in the form of the moon, in crescent or in wane, assuming, at times, also the form of the full moon. or of the new moon. The moon - called by the ancients the "sun of the cats" - has, in his painting, an importance that can only be perceived by those who approach to them without any hurry, with a poetics spirit and a receptive soul. The other signal that distinguishes his work is the emphasise given to the expression. The beautiful and static faces do not atract him or atract him very little. Luís Soares prefers the expressive face, the face with a displaced eye and an intrigant expression. For all this contributes, considerably, the juxtaposition of signs and symbols, among which are emphasized the circle, the oval and the pure colours that remind the scenery that follows a storm: the rainbow. Here, the painter assumes himself as a Portuguese that cannot or does not want to renounce his nationality. In a country that faces the sea and finds itself necessarily in the sea, the colour is of capital importance, mutable and renovator. For the "skin" of the sea - as says the French poem - ne-ver seems to be complete, it is in a constant mutation, renewing and remodelling itself. From the feminine face, Luís Soares picks up the blushing; from the moon, he takes the paleness; from the sea, the surprise; and from the earth, the multicolour sphere of an almost unbearable fulgency, in which consubstantiate all the lines, all the figures, all the afterglows, all the trues and all the fantasies.

António Martinez Cerezo
International Association of Art Critics


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