Bernardo Roman Palau Introduces a body of work that embraces both loss and regeneration. In each painting, deformity and beauty are present in equal measure.
The works are about hope, strength, resilience and gentleness.
Although Palau’s precise trompe-l’oeil technique is firmly rooted in tradition, his subject matter is both current and universal. The word enigmatic is probably most descriptive of the content of his paintings. Brushstrokes are almost imperceptible, allowing the persona of the artist to remain anonymous. Meaning is implied, and symbols are employed, both as a means of enlightening the viewer and of creating questions. Palau creates a dream world that seems on one hand more tangibly real than observed nature, and on the other, of an almost ethereal essence. The precise rendering of everyday objects and subjects in unusual juxtapositions and suppression of all extraneous detail are used as a point of departure then subsequently infused with a strong emotional and mythological bias.
While a dreamlike quality is certainly present in Palau’s work, the emotional element is heartfelt and gentle rather than consciously improbable or fantastic. In “The True Time of Year” and “The Tranquil” handicap, hardship, or loss is counterbalanced by physical perfection, rendering missing limbs almost unnecessary, as if, in fact, the true state of perfection is reached only when “wholeness” in the conventional sense is no longer a factor. The overwhelming sense is that despite the obviously missing physical elements of each subject they are complete and perfect entities and should be celebrated as such.
The aim in these paintings is not to shock, but to create a sense of questioning, wonderment and magic. One is reminded again and again that perfection is in the eye of the beholder, and that perfection can quite often go against the accepted societal grain. The lyrical qualities of shape and form are consciously developed to create a sinuous harmony that is pleasing to both the eye and the soul. At the heart of Palau’s work is a sense of hope, of glorying in both possibility and reality.