Sabine Gebele-Pham on “Apophenia” by Vincente Delgado

“Children know something that most people have forgotten.“ – Keith Haring

While seeing my kids immerse themselves in imaginary journeys around the world on cushion ships and blanket airplanes within the limited space of the living-room carpet, Haring´s thought resonates quite well with me. Inspired by the power of children to create endless imaginary worlds with simple means, artists such Dubuffet or Delgado, whose work Apophenia we look at, try to connect to the unconsciousness and tap back into this unrestricted creativity we used to have as kids. Creativity is thought to form from within, from the creators’ own depths and not through an educated, rational, classic appliance of principles of art.

In Delgado´s artwork the two figures, made from white fabric and covered with prints, look soft and plush and call back childhood memories of ragdolls. For children dolls are their imaginary friends, who accompany them not only everywhere in the real world but also into imaginary worlds during play. However, in the artwork the two figures can transform within seconds into one single face with a black and white stitched scar as a mouth and the arms in the middle of the figures forming the face´s nose. The playfulness and joy created by the memory of one´s childhood ragdoll for me flips to distortion and discomfort represented by the face. The viewer´s eyes suddenly start to switch back and forth between either the bodies within a face or the face made of bodies.

In this artwork Delgado seems to play with the viewer cognitive ability to see one reality and imagine another. It seems suddenly possible as a viewer, to feel this sometimes forgotten power of imagination we had as kids. Looking at the artwork gives hope to me that adults can tap into this ability and with the power of imagination create visions and ideas for a better, future world.

Two Bodies FLIP One Face
Soft & plush childhood rag dolls FLIP spiky & scary demon´s face
Two figures holding hands FLIP one face with a scar
Playfulness and Togetherness FLIP Discomfort, Distortion and Loneliness
Childhood FLIP Adulthood
Imaginary world FLIP Real world
Invisible FLIP Visible
Irrational FLIP Rational
Continue to view the world through different lenses

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