12 And he saw in a dream a ladder standing upon the earth, and its top touching heaven, and the angels of God ascending and descending by it.Genesis 28 12
The well-known biblical story tells us that Jacob, one of the patriarchs of Israel, flees through the mountain after confronting his brother Esau. When the night surprises him he stops, takes a stone as a pillow, falls asleep and dreams of a ladder resting on the earth whose top touches the heavens. Angels go up and down it.
The passage has given rise to countless cultural events and numerous paintings, such as those in the Via Latina catacomb, Rafael de Sanzio, Rembrandt, Ribera, Michael Wilmann, William Blake, Marc Chagall and many others. There have also been interpretations of Jacob's dream. The angels that go up and down are a connection between above and below, between the upper and lower forces; they are evolution from biological life to spiritual life; bridge that joins heaven and earth; lifting and lowering...
If we stay with the connection between above and below, we discover that there are many pictorial forms (iconic or plastic) capable of visualizing that union, suggesting to the gaze a path of ascent and descent: trees, rain, mountains and staggered clouds, columns of smoke, beams of light, vertical shapes, ramps, diagonals, zigzags and successive repetitions of horizontals.
Below is the earth, where our weight falls and our step is supported. Below our origin, our humus (the animal, the lower faculties, the irrational instinct) and also the imagined destination where we will end up. Mud of the beginning, root, abode and belonging; also return, fall and destiny.
When we raise our gaze, we scrutinize the sky in search of something else, because the firm step and the land on which the step is affirmed are no longer enough. Desire for ascension that raises our ancestor homo erectus and raises his head, his intelligence and his spirit, towards the aerial kingdoms of totality and the cosmos, in the desire to understand (with the development of his "superior faculties") where it is, of what colossal magnitude it is a part. More than anywhere else, the spirit world is symbolically situated in the sky, in the clouds. Above growth, lightness, air, flight, light and its origin: the Sun.
It is not about overcoming the opposition between up and down, but about moving from one place to another, going up and down. Without its grounding, thinking can lose its footing, rise up and dissolve into gaseous abstractions. And conversely, it doesn't seem like it can go very far to think that it runs along the ground, crawling, unable to rise a foot from the ground to gain perspective. It is about assuming the movement, perhaps uncomfortable or effortful, of ascent and descent, without allowing the gaze and the thought to settle. It is not about looking (of thinking) always out loud or in a low voice, but about modulating the voice of thought.
Trees, rain, mountains and staggered clouds, columns of smoke, beams of light, vertical forms, ramps, diagonals, zigzags and successive repetitions of horizontals… invite us to raise our heads (above ourselves) to look for the distant and to lean back (below) to search nearby. They invite us to go up and down, to rise and descend, to affirm our vertical and look for our inclinations. It matters little if we never get anywhere, as long as movement –and its perceptual increase– keeps us active in desire. What is life. Just look at Friedrich's monk or Goya's dog.
José Saborit Náquera 2018
The same sap. Verses, oils, watercolors.
The paintings in this exhibition are born very close to the book La misma sap. The shared title suggests a dialogue between verses and paintings.
The poems speak for themselves.
The paintings recover a certain initial impulse that moves painting: painting what moves us, what we love, what surpasses us (the experience of seeing), to interrogate the mystery of what is alive with painting. The intense traditional aroma of oil painting persists there: fillings, turpentine, glazes, long sessions, overlapping layers and accumulated time on the canvas. And the desire to share that rested, slow-cooked flavor with a few appreciative eyes.
The landscape is still very present, but not as a description of the external, but as a recognition of the internal in the external, an attempt to give double life to that emotion that equally colors the experience of contemplation and the painting that recalls it, that atmosphere psychic, that affective tonality that Simmel referred to with the word Stimmung.
Plant presence grows. plant resistance. Plant heroism (about which Octavio Paz spoke in his Grammar Mono). Through the green habitat -our first home-, and through our interior, the same sap can flow. A unitive feeling is breathed with everything that lives, and especially with what has not been twisted and complicated excessively by the stills of culture.
Meanwhile, the sea keeps repeating its song, because there are few presences as persistent as that of the sea. That is why, always beginning again, some painted seas persist that try to show what remains in what changes and what changes in what remains. Nothing like the sea, mythical mirror, insists so much on repeating that paradox that is ours, that of our identity and our body.
The words back. They break
against the blue limit of my grammar,
because there is no yesterday
tomorrow or now,
just this succeeding timeless
from the mirror of the sea before my eyes.
«Everything that returns to the same space
–Be it caress, step or resonance–
only one confused
successive moments. "
You try learning you the lesson
while the light,
White's fate is yellow:
no yellow solar,
but yellow time.
Stop under the tree, don't germinate
in the tender expanse of your impatience,
It lies within you, blind in your shadow.
In the deepest vein looms
the glowing surprise
from open eyes to the new,
the first light path,
the only salvation from the maze.
Righteousness does not exist, the sea ripples
and it turns on itself any way.
It's time to go and spill
penetrate the sands
back to spring
in the liquid love of everything that flows.
Catalog V.Digital «The same Savia» José Saborit
Moving in the limits that unite and separate landscape and abstraction, José Saborit's painting arises from a timeless, contemplative look at the world, stripped of anecdotes and theories, an emotional look that wishes to endure or find a double life through a careful technical combination of the material on the canvas.
He paints, writes, and works as a professor of painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts of San Carlos of the UPV. He has recently been named Academic Elect of the Royal Academy of San Carlos.