All artists stand on the heads of giants, some avowedly, others unconsciously. Alberto Gálvez belongs to the first group, joining usually explicit references to masters of the art canon with a contemporary interpretation of figurative painting.
One of the most provocative images in our portfolio is Noli me tangere (touch-me-not) which repeats the gesture of a famous 16th century portrait by an unknown artist supposedly depicting Gabrielle d’Estrées, the mistress of Henry IV, and her sister, the Duchess of Villars. The gesture of the sister pinching Gabrielle’s nipple is believed to indicate that she is pregnant. Gálvez has transposed this as a gesture between a man and a woman—make of that what you will.
Gálvez’ technique is also a tribute to classical painting: Meticulous, layered, glazed. But his mood is totally modern: Ironic and affectless. His subjects look out at us with blank stares, challenging us to find meaning in their gaze.
They are original while shamelessly reminding us of DeChirico, Magritte, Hopper—masters at expressing emptiness.
NOLI ME TANGERE, Oil on linen, 38 x 51 inches
LA BELLA JARDINERA I, Oil on linen, 76 x 64 inches