For the 2022 summer exhibition, TESE gallery presented the first solo exhibition of Felipe Fredes, titled "The Seventh Moment: Walking Modernism’s Dawn."
The 1839 invention of the Daguerreotype impacted society and the artistic world in such a way that not Daguerre nor anyone could have foreseen. By surpassing painting in its ability to represent reality, photography, in a way, released painting from the need to be realistic. Painting until then had a strictly representative role: to imitate nature as accurately as possible. When photography appeared, this was a relatively easy task, and could be done by anyone who owned a camera. This feeling can be summarized in Baudelaire words describing photography as “the refuge of failed painters with too little talent.”
For this reason, the focus of painters shifted from representing reality to portraying emotions and impressions which finally led to abstraction. Photography can, for this reason, be seen as a great or perhaps the major drive for the reinvention of painting and the origin of abstraction, that began in late 19th century through the 20th century. In the same way, photography followed the same tendency towards subjectivity and abstraction, which contributed to its recognition as an art form of its own.
In this work, which took seven years to complete, I have taken steps to create a dialogue between painting and photography. This has allowed me to experience the mutual transformation of these mediums, from representative art to abstraction, which occurred in the transition of the 19th to the 20th century. For this purpose, I have made a series of seven iterative pieces that starts with a photograph representing a baroque painting by Caravaggio, The Incredulity of St. Thomas, which I transformed with oil painting, photographed again, printed with silver gelatin on canvas, mutated again, and so on until reaching complete abstraction.
Working on this series, I have experienced this colossal transit of humanity and twist of human mind, and it has helped me understand the pivotal and amazing moment that changed art and society dramatically, which secretly and continuously permeates into our daily lives.
- Felipe Fredes, July 2022