Metaphor – Jordi
In 2007, Jordi Forniés’s exhibition MagicLogic
brought the vivid colours of Barcelona to Dame Street. Less
than a year later, his agent Olivier and I, travel to his
beach house in Co Meath to see his latest work.
His windows open onto the gleaming sea, a view that
inspired the stormy green and blue mood of Broken
Silence. The changing Irish weather is also captured
– this time playfully - in Grian na hÉireann,
but Jordi’s native Spain is also still a source of
inspiration. Propped against his living-room wall is The
Secret Promise, which captures the ochre light of an
Andalusian evening, the grizzled beauty of an ancient olive
tree – shades of the Old Masters emerging through the
artist’s contemporary practice.
Old and new are combined throughout the work:
hand-mixed pigments, gold and copper leaf and even papyrus
are cross-layered with modern compounds such as latex and
plastic. As before, Jordi’s training as a chemist has
given him the confidence to experiment fearlessly with
materials. This is perhaps most vividly demonstrated in A
Poem, in which columns of Chinese characters painted
on wood are evoked, with, among other things, squares of
There is a new subtlety of both colour and form in
these paintings, but the artist’s openness and his
willingness to document his emotional experiences on canvas
is still evident. An unexpected side-track on life’s path
is evoked in oxidised gold slabs in Here to There,
the crepuscular joys of a brief love affair mapped out in
seven blocks of indigo and pearl in Wonderful Week.
Of course, despite this candour and the skill in its
expression, there is still, always, something unknown – we
can never fully enter another’s interior world. Visual
metaphors, like verbal metaphors, are illuminating but they
are still just metaphors. Paradoxically, its sense of what
remains unrevealed is another appealing element in this
complex art that is at once sensual and atmospheric,
accessible and enigmatic.
As we leave the sea is drawing in, enveloping the
shining beach in its tender, mysterious embrace.
Irish Times Journalist