BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE ON URBANO GALINDO
A latent duality is present in any creation by Urbano Galindo. On one hand, the artist´s look reveals those characters portraited as a representation of what is somehow sensed but impossible to aprehend, the image of a search for an inner world where the human being projects the best of himself, a secret in its reflected transparency, haloed by an immanent dignity. On the contrary, his abstract-expressionist compositions bring us closer to a less still and infinitely more complex vision. The inner cosmic turbulence of the artist is showed and unfolded in an explosion of light, movement and colour that often directs us to that “spacial concept” once proposed by Fontana: the denial of borders between paint and sculpture and the unity of all physical elements, for a spiritualised proposal of a particular universe in constant transformation.
Nobody who has a deep knowlegde of the coherent and singular artistic carreer of Urbano Galindo should be surprised by the fact that this painter-sculptor, always immersed in his creative whirlpool, does without facts, dates, specific places, events or anniversaries present ever since the beginning of an ascending career that spans more than 30 years of unstoppable creation and indisputable success. It occurs indeed that this author, who sails between success, recognition and an interiorised zen philosophy that tends, above all, toward harmony, doesn´t seem to worry too much about details that other artists would undoubtlessly deem of vital importance or specially relevant to highlight. Therefore, anyone who reads through this page will be able to realise what a rich and abundant layout of a life entirely dedicated to an artistic universe, very personal, but without specific dates to accompany the pictures of works that speak for themselves.
A very untidy “disorder” leads the immensely brilliant path that we will, very briefly, try to describe here.
Urbano Galindo was born in Madrid in december 1943. He takes his studies at the Spanish-French College and later enters the School of the Merchant Navy; but, as usually happens in these cases, he was born with other interests in mind and that innate and creative rebelliousness will end up by separating him from the apparent certainty of an infinitely more comfortable and pragmatic fate.
That is how he then decides to leave his career at his last year to fully and exclusively integrate in the complex and fascinating world of Art. This will be an intense period of search, of personal insatisfaction, that takes him to test himself in different areas; he begins by studying decoration without leaving his studies in painting, sculpture and photography. The world of photography, due to what it represents in terms of innovative creativity during that period of early training, attracts him in a special way. It is in this area where he will become Art Director in advertising in publicity photography. A seven-year period in which -whithout forgetting his real vocation of painter-sculptor- he will study in depth the most advanced techniques that, at a later stage, will act as a support to widely develop a type of creation more in accordance with his way of feeling and expressing himself.
For a spirit like that of Urbano, the fluctuating world of publicity, no matter how interesting or creative this may be, will never be able to satisfy him or his yearn for creation. So, with that characteristic sense of freedom of a true creator, he leaves everything again and starts a new journey. Only this time, he won´t start the journey on his own. Urbano has found his best accomplice possible, his most faithful partner, in Eugenia Blazquez, woman of great sensitiveness, who shares his struggle, understands and supports him and they marry in a deeply united matrimony, solid and happy, which gives him the necessary stillness that his inner restlessness needs. This is a fertile, happy and hopeful period shared by both, where the eagerness for knowledge of anything that can spiritually nurture him prevails over everything secondary.
Music, another one of his unrelinquishable needs, leads him to continue his studies in music theory and piano that he had initiated some time before and returns, with renewed energy, to immerse himself in the great passions he had left aside or left to stand: photography, paint, sculpture. Those instruments are going to be just the support to let him approach the soul of what he grasps, as Urbano doesn´t limit himself to expressing faces, shapes or profiles from different angles, but through his look and his artistic work he intends to capture the most intimate details of all that he tries to express; not only the surface, but the most intimate layers that keep everything that his glance rescues, another sort of essence, something more intengible and unholdable or that pure and unpolluted side that he believes remains at the very deep of every human being and that a simple paintbrush or the most sophisticated technique will never achieve. He even dreams and has ever tried to capture in space the strange nature of those cosmic and evanescent shapes that seem torn from the very galaxies or constellations, as he points out in an interview: “We need to escape from matter to extend to what we don´t see”.
It was Eugenia, his spouse, whom, helped by friends who perceive that sustained deepness that his works project, gets Urbano to finally exhibit his creations, as he was so immersed in his creative personal world that he somehow refused to do it. He will finally agree because there is an important charity work behind this first exhibition: “El Rastrillo”, which during that time, and presided by HRH Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón, is located at Madrid´s Congress and Exhibitions Palace. This first exhibition, which will be followed by endless others in different places throughout the world, is a complete success, and that initial establishment becomes the master key that will open doors and widen paths that will invariably lead him to a definitive triumph.
It is as from that moment that orders start following each other and Urbano Galindo, inwardly oblivious as always to flattery and honors, seeks new shapes that go beyond what had already been started. He increases the size of works, studies new formulas for glazes, hues, transparencies, to better reflect what he desires. He seeks perfection, and above all, he is interested, in his own words: “Spiritual evolution”. “Materialise what cannot be seen, what is beyond the sight of the human eye”.
Urbano surrounds his creations in the mystery, sensuality, the still transparency; he multiplies the mirrors in which each of us may find and recognize himself in a mixture of lights and bright shadows, where everything is part of an indivisible Unit as in an uninterrupted dialogue between matter and spirit. The maxim that inspired the Greeks -”Good, Truth, Beauty”- remains his personal motto.
Important figures from the Nobility, politics or the social world compete for his works. Among them, the former President of the Government, Adolfo Suárez; Their Majesties Simeon and Margarita of Bulgaria, Tessa of Bavaria; Marquesses of Villél, of Mozobamba; Esperanza Ridruejo, Isabel Preysler, Koplowitz Family, among many others, exhibit the artist´s works in their showrooms. Important figures such as HRH Infanta Doña Margarita, Duchess of Soria, Archduchess Sofia of Habsburg and Lorraine, and many others, later join the list.
Painting-sculpture and portrait take turns without hindering each other in a form of poetry where everything flows harmonically either as a response or a shield towards a reality that, in this case, has a deep sense of symbolism, metaphor or maybe metaphysics, where the seduction of an unspoilt beauty remains unpolluted with a somehow unreachable and idealized perfection beyond time and its ravages.
From the Court of the Windsors, Their Royal Highnesses the Prince Michael of Kent and Princess Mary Christine, require him this time for a couple of works that will guard the walls of the Kensington Palace. There, among the misty light of England and in the ancient walls of the magnificent residence, he faces new challenges that he will need to solve during the process of creation. The result, a work of a solemn and exquisite simplicity,delights its illustrious occupants. In Spain, also Maximilian of Habsburg, the Ambassadors of the USA and Egypt, Nati Abascal, Arístide Royo, the Marquess of Melin, Cari Lapique and many others admire and look for what each creation suggests to them from that singular universe which grasps such a special atmosphere, serenely timeless, which seems gifted by a delicate transparency, and as a counterpoint, also the other artistic side, dynamic and on the avantgarde, branded by the filter of a more intimate and disturbing uneasiness.
A man of his time, the expressionist abstraction deeply attracts him, and with the feverish activity that his figurative facet imposes on him, he will always seek the channel that allows him to combine his art under different and varied shapes and matters.
It is at this stage that America requires him. America represents a new and embracing dimension. While he makes new and important acquantances and delivers the many works the New York Society really appreciates, he visits the great museums of the city and those of San Francisco, Los Angeles, he learns from the most advanced trends in the different fields of painting and sculpture, he widens his knowledge and studies the new proposals of the most daring art, and newly rediscovers, among others, one of the artists that fascinates him: Jackson Pollock. The symbolic automatism of the nort american painter powerfully attracts him. The inextricable networks of that paint, marked by the spirals in a tireless, dripping tracery as opposed to that free and absolutely of his own, grasp also what his subconscious seeks and longs for: the freedom to create his own world, his indisputable space, somehow feeling identified with the singular energy that the works of that rebellious and tortured artist transmits to him.
His link to the prestigious firm I´Magnin opens the doors of prestigious Californian Art Galleries: Twenty-Twenty, Dyansen, I.Magnin, and others (among other equally important places of the American geography). In Los Angeles City, for example, and in the mentioned galleries, his works will be exhibited with a great success in both public and critics.
Between trips from and to Spain and different points of Europe, he has time to catch the charismatic and exquisite spirit of actress Jean Simmons, who will be followed by a sequence of actors and artists and Hollywood figures who hurry to show in satisfaction Urbano Galindo´s works in spendid mansions and publications all over the world. Among many others it is worth mentioning Melissa Gilbert, Tony Franciosa, Mrs.Greta Peck, Pavla Ustinof, Mrs. Paul Getty; Priscila Pointer, Mr. Blackwell, Zsa-Zsa Gabor, Olivia Hussey, Susan Sullivan, Francesca Hilton…
It is a golden period that represents his definitive consolidation in North America. The media present there continuously praise and elevate him with specially praiseworthy terms; they point out he is “a thief of beauty”, “his fame crosses frontiers and has found success discovering the tangible perfection of shapes and also of bodies expressing the beauty of the souls”… The amount of praise poured on the Madrid-born author is absolutely overwhelming when you go through pages and pages in newspaper libraries. In Spain, his works continue to be added institutions and to private collections such as that of HRH the Princess Tesa of Bavaria, HRH the Duchess of Calabria, Teresa de Borbón, the Marchioness of Laula, Duchess of Franco, or Don Luis Gómez de Acebo, Duke of Badajoz. The exhibitions follow one another in different points of the Spanish territory. On the contrary, the artist does not take pleasure in his creations nor does he lean on what he already created, and although his style is unmistakable, he continues to seek for new formulas so that he, without betraying himself, give him new channels and expressions to what had been achieved by then.
A new period under different perspectives, that will make him create a series of avantgarde portraits of daringly innovative lines that will be backed by his spouse Eugenia, who initially inaugurates this new proposal and that relevant figures like Baroness Thyssen (Carmen Cervera will become one of his most firm and loyal clients or patrons; works of the Madrid-born author can be found in every one of their houses and mansions), Bibis Salisachs de Samaranch, Carmen Martínez-Bordíu or Carlos Ferrer Salat, whom he reflects in a bold composition that, in a sort of shattered mirror, reveals us a deeply thoughtful image. The Asensios, Carmen Mateu de Suqué, etc.
But the one work that will attract a very special atention from the media is the wonderful picture that exhibits the delicate features of HM Queen Noor of Jordan, whom he embraces in a nebula of thread-shaped and ethereal webs, between mauve, blue and golden tones, achieving a plastic-like effect under an unreal light. They are compositions where methacrylate is used along with a series of elements and textures that intertwine with each other forming volumes of bright effects, brave and surprising, that do not leave anybody who contemplates them for the first time indifferent. They direct the spectator to that “spatial concept” that we pointed out earlier.
The expressionist explosion that consolidates the personality of the Madrid-born author represents his most personal and recognisable language of inner symbols. Urbano will give in that series of abstract creations a series of keys where we can reach or perceive a universe of its own marked by a still spirituality but also in continous motion, like the shock waves in a pond or like the turbulences in a river that constantly flows with a vital and intense freshness.
In parallel, that proustinian exquisiteness to which he makes concessions like in a page of Lampedusa and that, “in the search for the lost time” he takes pleasure in the timeless melancholy of the most refined and elegant of classicisms where other characters let themselves be trapped. Characters like Ronda Fleming; Angie Dickinson, Cathering Oxemberg, Jane Seymour, or most recently the vibrand lightness of hues in which the wise contention of Tippi Hedren is enshrined.
As a previous step to new periods or changes in the creation of Urbano Galindo, I would mention two places that marked these junctions: one of them would be the Brook Gallery in Barcelona, at a memorable exhibition in which all media were present together with relevant figures of Politics, Art, Literature, Music and the refined world of the “High Society” and in which, for the first time, the Madrid-born artist grouped in a same exhibit his particular works of breakup or split up of previous periods together with other works, equally relevant, of a somehow more figurative trend.
The other exhibition, even more important, was the one dedicated to the artist by the Centro Cultural de la Villa de Madrid. Every chamber, every space was dressed with his works in a retrospective that was widely praised and commented. I have decided to mention these two exhibitions after having personally visited and admired them. Of course many of them could also be mentioned but there is neither room nor time here to collect what would undoubtlessly take several volumes as Private Collections, Galleries, Palaces and Institutions hoard his works in an infinite number of places around the world.
Recently, the beautiful portraits of HM Queen Doña Sofía; that of HM Queen Rania of Jordan or that of the First Lady of the USA, Michelle Obama, have meant an important milestone in his ever extensive and successful career.
Writers such as Fina de Calderón, Santiago Castelo, José García Nieto, J. A. Vallejo Nájera, Paloma Gómez Borrero or Efi Cubero, among others, also host his works at their homes, spreading them through the press, or in their own texts, where they hail those works.
Urbano Galindo is the owner of a particular style: a very personal style for which he is undoubtlessly known and acknowledged. Urbano needs to believe to be able to create and it is his inner world what remains in permanent turmoil with that cosmic serenity that the spiritualized meditation, and equally, the solid thought of a man alert to life creation provokes in him.
An interior of contrasts that his abstractions reveal.
A world that also preserves something untouched. As if it preserved the most fragile; that internal music that crosses his work like a diagonal line that penetrates something more interior than matter…
Lately he has given a new focus to his creations, turning them more dematerialized every day, intinitely more bright and colourful with migments and glazes of an almost magical effect. As if with strokes of intangible verses he managed to attract music without time of the vibrant Universe.
Clues on the Mirror
Under the luxurious plasticity of Urbano Galindo´s works there is a secret latent melody. A tremor of glass over the shapes where light follows the time of foam. The multiplication in the mirrors of the searched ideal. The mysterious yearn for the unreachable perfection. Paragraphs that pierce the elusive in the hues of silence. Strokes that agitate the folds in that dynamism of compositions, ductile, delicate, that some times project the tension of vacuum, the irised streaks of gems, the arborescent ramifications of nature, the refletions of mother-of-pearl, with texture of quality of silk, where touch is perfectly felt through the eyes, or that distant wink of constellations where to find the clues the artist shows us.
Since nothing is accidental in this birth, these paintings-sculptures, demand above all an active complicity from those who gaze at them. That vivid conjunction of movement and the look that activates itself in an order of dazzling appearance but mainly about a symbolism of spoken spirituality.
For many years, Urbano has filtered through the crucible of his interior all the materials with which to forge the dream of a freshness alien to wear. That special light he prints into his portraits and his compositions that seem to surge from the waters of creation, ennobled, joyfully still, liberated from the yoke of tribulation or unease, sometimes profiled and shrouded by a thin layer of a golden powder like in a finishing of a jewel or filigree, or maybe the homage to that hue that was the colour of the sky for the primitive masters of Medieval painting.
But the work of Urbano -who has thoroughly studied the avantgardes, the North American expressionism and is permanently alert to every innovation of the currents of the art of this time- sails along his own course. He presses his own space of contemporaneity, based on his inner premises, with absolute independence alert solely to his stroke to order-govern the visible matter, but with that untemporary and eternal blow, from that light without time; about that investigative exploration that expresses in parallel a representation of his universe, full of sensations, perseptions, emotion and sense.
There is a modern dinamysm in the look and the smile of those portraited by him, or a contained wisdom in the elegant serenity of styles and experiences. Everything flows in his space, opposite to these works of his, from the live breath of a luminous energy, pierced by intemporality.