Carlos Pazos
Spain, 1949
Carlos Pazos' artistic career began in Barcelona in the seventies within the framework of the new artistic tendencies. Like other artists of his generation, he was subject to a number of influences (Arte Povera, Pop, neo-Dadaism, Actionism, popular culture) and by means of them all was able to give shape to an ambitious artistic cycle with the generic title of "La nostalgia del tiempo no vivido", which he broke down into a series of memorable exhibitions: "Voy a hacer de mí una estrella", 1975), "Conocerle es amarle", 1978), "The Floor of Fame" (1978) and "Bonjour melancolía" (1980). Although Pazos' most common historiographic attribution has always been Conceptual artist, we cannot ignore his categorical, dogged distancing from Conceptual orthodoxy, made through public statements and the repeated subjective and autobiographical use in his artistic interventions of materials drawn from popular culture, whether drawings, ready-mades, actions, photographs or installations. If at first the influence of Pop on the form and of Povera on the process could be discerned, as well as a hypothetical intention to question popular consumption in sociological terms, his later evolution shows that his work was closer to the individual mythologies and neo-Dada interpretations of the ready-made than to the distanced translations into painting and sculpture of images and objects from the mass media. Thanks to the introduction of all kinds of popular consumer objects into his work, Pazos was able to lay the foundations of an artistic discourse which involved a radical questioning not only of painting, but also of quality and long-lastingness as fundamental values in art. His turning to the souvenir, as a personal recollection with a capacity to condense the fleeting instant of sentimental memory, made it easier for him to incorporate the autobiographical dimension and its corresponding mythical derivation. In the early eighties, the transformation of irony into melancholy, as an attitude inspiring the conception of his work, marked the opening of a new stage, "A cuestas con la memoria", whose most widespread and recognisable contribution are the so-called "staged objects" which he has been working on until now.
Pablo Ramírez