Josep Domenech (Spanish, b. 1952) tries to go deep, searching for the equilibrium, the simplicity - to show just the basic element in his original oil paintings. He expresses himself through objects, elements, figures, different situations, feelings, balance, meditation and self-reflection. Wanting to express peace and quietness, and for this, when he began painting, he painted the female form and femininity. “Women give to me that peacefulness, sensibility, sexuality, and the maternal instinct.” All of this stirs his emotions and provokes the need to transmit his feelings on canvas. Josep wants to make people understand that his figures are not just a woman - but also a feeling of love, peace and shyness. In order to get that feeling his models never look directly at the observer, they have the eyes semi-closed in a way that maintains her discretion and intimacy... her feeling of privacy. Using mixed media techniques including gold leaf he may create a “wall” of secrecy inspiring the viewer to see what is behind. Read More
“With my paintings, I want to express all the emotions offered to me, from the simplest everyday object, a landscape to the sensuality, sensitivity and beauty of the female figure.”
Born in Barcelona in 1952, Domenech was sure to follow in the footsteps of family tradition in the carpentry trade. But it wasn’t a passion of Josep, who loved art and design, furthering his passion by taking drawing lessons from a private teacher.
“It was at the Tarrega Academy where I perfected my drawing and I learned the technique of charcoal drawing. I would draw over and over the shapes of sculptures such as David’s Miguel Angel, Milo’s Venus, Seneca’s head and many more. This learning served as a basis for the next three years, where I studied design at the high school of arts and Crafts in the Masana School, Barcelona.”
Domenech spends most nights working from his studio a short distance away from his home. His work could have been classed as too academic up until 1978 when an important event occurred for him that changed Josep Domenech’s style of painting - the birth of his first daughter and then the arrival of two more children in 1981 and 1986.
“At this time the economy was not in a good state, and in Spain it was often said, “Hunger sharpens inventiveness”. This was certainly true for me. I had to economize with materials and thus I began to work with oils in a way that I had previously only worked with watercolors (this greatly developed my style of painting). I applied the oil with rags, stumps or capes that were usually only used to varnish or polish the furniture. I used the color very diluted with trementine essence, applying and eliminating it, and letting the paint dry many times over. This is how my technique began. Although it was purely an economical decision to paint in this way back then, this is now not a cheap way for me to paint. It is actually the opposite. I am not able to use a normal canvas; I have to prepare it first. Also, the pigment of my oils have to be pure and of the highest quality.”
“Combinations of emotions are reflected in my paintings.” Work is such an important part of his life because, for him, there are still a lot of things to discover and learn.
Art Leaders Gallery in West Bloomfield, Michigan is excited to have been chosen as one of the select galleries to exhibit Josep Domenech’s work in the United States and abroad.