Ana Serratosa
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Art gallery, Valencia (Spain)

Dennis Hollinsworth
Diciembre 2006

Fernando Castro Flórez



One’s first wish is to touch it. I could barely control myself. There I was, in front of some hypnotic paintings, hardly being able to keep myself from “getting my hands on them”. My admiration for this artist was already high, but it suddenly grew. I didn’t have any doubt at all that I was seeing some exceptional work, a beauty that was difficult to describe, marked by intensity and memorable conviction. After having suffered it is normal to go through a time of “yearning”, so much indigestible and even nauseous art (I am not exaggerating), at last I could aesthetically enjoy something succulent. And there, in a dark room with a bright spotlight illuminating the paints, the only thing that came into my feverish mid was that I had to touch those surfaces of exciting colours. Perhaps to hide my perverse intentions, in order to distract him, I asked a question about the conception of the gesture, as if it was necessary to draw a line with heroic American painting. Dennis, very kindly and intelligently, reeled off a few ideas that were not just polite chitchat, quite the contrary, they revealed a tremendously articulate mind, one full of awareness of what he was doing and, especially, the relationship between his proposal and the pictorial contemporary context. Led by the typical mania of lazy critics to compare or the need for parapets, I named Pia Fries and mentioned the term “discontinuity” to later appeal the question of broken intensity. Actually, what has beginning to take shape in my mind was the feeling that different temporalities had come together and even variable moods. But, I am not going to pretend that at that time I was not really interested in the theoretical artifices, besides the painter’s soft voice was fading away while I hungrily ran my eyes over the fascinating surfaces of this pictures. I got up and decidedly moved to a near end. It had an appearance of absolute freshness about it. It gave the impression that without intervention by human hands, it had appeared there, all that, it was actually an autonomous reality. Abstract, while at the same time, powerfully specific.

My imagination took off, or to be more precise, it plunged into a watery medium, allowing the fluid substance to govern my vision. Dennis Hollingsworth is possessed by the fantasy of water, in a Bachelard sense, without falling at any time into the descriptive of figurative. Still thrown off balance, still possessed by the desire to touch it, I found a painting with an intense blue background in a narrow corridor. That was the bottom of the sea or a reef, inhabited by sponges, urchins and coral, a place that should never be desecrated, untouchable, magical. Suddenly, I was a diver, unable to speak, surprised by the beauty of something secret, driven by a pictorial passion which already, unbridled, was leading me not so much to touch it, but to pass my tongue over its surface. An unbeckoned memory came to me, coming back from the most remote part of my literary memory: Plato talks to the Painters Guild showing their work from afar, and while we keep our distance, they keep their homogenous unity, but when we draw closer everything dissolves and we no longer see anything else other than masses that do not resemble anything. The singularity of Hollingsworth’s work is the same wherever we look at it from. It never ceases to be painting, on the other hand it is something that stimulates us and leads us to a happy downfall: we touch as we look. Synesthesia takes place when we understand that we should not put our hand there and nor should we chew whatever that is that is so appealing. The imposing beauty of these paintings materialises the magic intact passion. On a table, close to the paintings are blocks of fresh, inciting paint. I suppose Dennis contemplates, during frenetic moments of loneliness in his studio, how those colours germinate on the two-dimensional surface. I am sure that he is the first to suffer from the charms of those surfaces which, as the paradox would say, the bottom of those prickly forms that look so silky. All those textures held me spellbound when I wanted to touch them, and now I feel that my text is barely able to describe the beauty that those pictures portray. It may be a problem of the way I think, or perhaps I lack language, the tongue is lacking moisture while it is the part of the body that longs to fuse with the painting, the magic it holds, auratically, far off however close it may be.

Fernando Castro Flórez