TRIPP Gallery is proud to present ‘By Means of Catastrophe’, an exhibition of new works by London-based artist Jaime
Valtierra. The show includes paintings and drawings developed over the last year at the Rum Factory in Wapping where
Valtierra has had his studio since 2015.
‘By Means of Catastrophe’ is build around one main composition entitled ‘The Castle’ around which gravitate a group of
small paintings and drawings. The title is a direct reference to Kafka’s book; the works explore the relationship between the
individual as an external agent and the mechanisms of power, considering ideas of exclusion and alienation in contemporary
society from an artist’s perspective.
As in the novel, ‘the Outsider’ struggles with the established power and structures that isolate him from a society, which he
is however desperate to understand. Valtierra’s creative process is a journey of self-discovery in which he draws a parallel
with the story and his own perception of the system he lives in; a system in which the artist can be seen as surplus and
more often than not pushed to the margins of society.
Within these visions of the Self, the viewer also finds elements that are reminiscent of London’s landscape. Valtierra
incorporates features he encounters in his explorations of Wapping looking for resonances between his ideas and his daily
environment. The Castle from Kafka is not unlike the Tower of London with the Shard emerging from behind the medieval
building, as it can been seen from the East side of the Thames. Like in ‘The Castle’, the instrument of power is viewed from
a distance; it is out of reach.
What emerges from “By Means of Catastrophe” is a constant struggle, a confrontation between nature and society, between
the individual and the group, where the strongest eat the weak. The opposition the individual encounters daily, as an
outsider, a foreigner, an artist, leaves him with an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness. It is a conflict between the self
and the external environment that surrounds it but also a conflict within.
About the Artist
Jaime Valtierra is a Spanish painter (Madrid, 1979) based in London. Since his arrival in the UK in 2001 he has combined a
regular studio painting practice with experimental incursions into other disciplines that include performance, installation and
video. He has exhibited his work in the UK and across Europe.
His art practice is an intellectual and emotional reaction to the world around him. It explores a personal and imaginative
vision of the self and its relation to place and to others. He is particularly concerned with the analysis of essential human
desires and beliefs in relation to a specific cultural context, and their articulation as form/content within the 'picture space'.
Deeply influenced by both the Spanish and British tradition of painting, his work is engaged in a constant struggle to
reconcile and understand the cultural ramifications that the two nations exert on him, both from a personal and historical
perspective. This dual form of marginality and inclusion determines much of his working material and subject.