Stones come to life with the help of Jose Manuel Castro Lopez
We say about the natural stone that it is hot, it vibrates like a living element, it has an organic appearance, it has a friendly attitude, it speaks, it communicates with the environment ... These and many phrases such as this, are ways to say that natural stone, treated suitably, is not and should not be considered a simple object. We have written on this blog about the surprising and hidden qualities of natural stone, and today we put in the spotlight another artist: José Manuel Castro López.
José Manuel Castro López (born 1959) was born in Vilasuso, a village near A Coruña, north-west of Spain. From 1980 until 1985 he attended the "Escola de Canteiros" University, where he studied the art of sculpture.
The Spanish artist uses natural stone (quart and granite) in a way that reminds of Australian Alex Seton (see the article here), yet the textures chosen by José Manuel Castro López expose even more the essence of the stone. If Seton finds the fluidity of the stone (marble) loaded with a statuary message, Lopez is concerned about the surface of the rock, he is changing it to a lesser extent for the difference to be as obvious as possible.
The amazement of the viewer does not come from the perceived changes in vast areas. The artist seduces by detail, perhaps not even at the scale of Hirotoshi Ito (who also has "melted" stones), yet not very far. (We wrote here about “The art of Hirotoshi Ito”).
Topped, pinched, hung, twisted, crinkled, tight, cut - all these are the natural stone of Lopez's creations. It amazes you, and like many people, you can wonder if what you see is really sculpture, or chemical materials or other techniques have been used. There are sculptures. I never imagined that the viewer will not understand my technique nor did I try to hide the way I do it, even my colleagues, masters of sculpture techniques, ask me how I work. - declared Lopez in an interview for dailymail.co.uk.
Assuming his role as a creator, he says in another interview ("The Creators Project"): My relationship with stone is not physical but magical. She recognizes me and obeys me ... We understand each other. My stones are not devoid of life, they look as they are.
We, at PIATRAONLINE, can only agree with the artist when talking about the "life" of natural stones. A granite or marble tile might only be a product when it is in the box or in the wooden pallet. After being installed, however, that tile is subjected to other laws, sometimes harder to perceive. These are laws of the space in which the stone is integrated, by its relation to the surrounding objects, by light, even with reference to the number of people and plants near it.
José Manuel Castro López - and others like him - highlights the very latency of the stone, its essence. Plastic artists or engineers, designers or landscape designers continue to be amazed by the fabulous potential of natural stone. Perhaps we need a more developed sense to understand these things, but at PIATRAONLINE we are witnesses almost every day when people come and are pleasantly amazed in front of a marble, granite or perhaps travertine.
José Manuel Castro López
Photo source: www.museum-of-art.net