|The paintings of Jose Higuera. Is talent enough?|
|Spanish artist, Jose Higuera|
I was somewhat surprised to receive your unsolicited e-mail last week. No other artist has ever before written me suggesting I showcase his or her work. I must say I was as skeptical as I was curious in drawing up your Website to see what you have to offer. Then as I skimmed through your figural paintings, any skepticism quickly waned. Your two paintings of Jose (above) won me over. As you may or may not know, I seldom write regarding living artists (unless they're barely living). There are just too many of them, most just as talented as yourself. And like them, I consider your art, your life, and your career to be a "work in progress." I'm not in the advertising or public relations business, nor do I consider myself an astute art critic. So what I have to say here is, at best, a personal opinion with all the individual biases that entails, far more than learned criticism. However, quite apart from your work, the fact that you have written me as you did indicates an exceptional attribute I wish to highlight. It's one every artist should possess. You are audacious. I admire that.
|Woman 2, Jose Higuera|
|Elena, Jose Higuera|
|Rock Lover, Jose Higuera|
|La Voluntad, Jose Higuera|
|Manhattan, Jose Higuera|
|North Sea, Jose Higuera|
|Grapes, Jose Higuera|
In closing, let me bring up one other factor with regard to you and your work. As I alluded to briefly before, and I'm sure you're well aware, you are just one of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of equally talented Realist painters all over the world working today. Their skills and aesthetic ideals are a given. The one thing which separates the greats from the would-be-greats is the audacity and drive you exhibited in writing to me. But that's only a part of the formula for success. You must rise above the skills and best efforts of all the others. You seem to have a knack for, and understanding of, the importance of self-promotion; but the same audacity you have exhibited in promoting your work must also be seen in your work. Technical skills alone are not enough. The artist must also work to break the mold as you did with North Sea, or, as the Star Trek intro used to proclaim, "Go where no one had ever gone before." That is the single most important hallmark of the Postmodern era in which we, as artist, live and work and compete today. Don't be afraid to fail. With a few minor exceptions, Jose, your work is no different than that of similarly talented painters a hundred years ago, near the beginning of the era of Modern Art. That means you are painting in the past. There are many different possibilities. Inject humor. Startle the viewer in some way. Know the rules and then dare to break them. Attack the bastions of traditional content. Mix media. Use words. Impress with sheer scale. Break free of the little window we call the picture frame. Blend the abstract with the realistic. Be controversial to some degree. Give art critics something write about rather than yawn at. In short, you have, in abundance, all the tools you'll ever need to rise above the timid masses of thousands of other artist struggling to get their heads about "see" level. As Nike says, "JUST DO IT!"
|Part of Jose Higuera's impressive 2014 show, "Art Revolution," in Taiwan.|