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LLORENÇ GUAL: A WINDING ROAD TO EXCELLENCE
Writing about art is not an easy task; and going into the elaboration of critiques, whose purpose is none other than to approach in an objective way to the result of the artist’s work is even more complex. Among other things, because art itself is a wealth of emotions, sensations, passions, feelings; and ultimately, what the author expresses through what he perceives, with his vision, his technique, and his soul. And if, besides that, the artist is also a friend, whose evolution and trajectory you have observed over the years, it is an honor, but at the same time, a greater responsibility.
In any discipline – whether artistic or not – to stand out and setting a solid and differentiating standard, will, effort, discipline and perseverance are needed; and above all, a great passion that excites you every day in your project or work. In the case of an artist, one more ingredient is required: to have taken the magic elixir of the unusual creativity that the gods grant only to a chosen few.
Despite having achieved what he had set out to do in a self-taught way, Llorenç Gual opted for the most challenging and less recognized path by the public, as far as success is concerned. He exploited his innate potential relentlessly. He focused on charcoal pencil sketching to perfection – as did the classic artists – to then diving into the complex techniques of watercolour and pastels, of which he is now an undoubted benchmark.
For decades now – and to the disgrace of those who live day by day in the fascinating universe of art – the majority of plastic and visual artists avoid a good part of their essential training, to rather jump into the media spotlight, staining canvases and congratulating themselves on the triviality of their occurrences.
Llorenç Gual, with effort, sacrifice, and constant desire for constant self-improvement, being faithful to his principles and to what his inner self dictated to him, decided to remain on the right path, the one that characterizes the great ones among the rest. In his childhood, he was already drawing and doodling like no other in school, and since then, he has never stopped. He received his first drawing and painting lessons from his own father; later, he would accompany the great of Majorcan post-impressionism: D. Ramón Nadal, in his pictorial “plein air” excursions, and also the prolific Toni Rovira, in the scarped paths of Pollensa and Formentor. He was an outstanding student of the great master Joaquín Torrents Lladó, at the «Escuela Libre del Mediterráneo» until his premature and unfortunate death, and continued to perfect his technique at the «Pascual de Cabo» Academy.
The techniques that Llorenç Gual uses are in line with his personality. His charcoal drawings are sensational; the black of the lead and the pencil on a white paper canvas, in his hands are transformed into a lush and vivid Mediterranean landscape. His watercolours, which do not call for the slightest rectification, are brimming with a perfect chromatic harmony; and his pastels, in which one can perceive that the artist has given his all, are undoubtedly his greatest hallmark. The sensitivity with which he treats his landscapes – both inland and coastal – deserves a profound analysis and also the highest admiration. He imposes a tenuous play of light and shadows in all his works. Not only does he strive for perfection, but he feels and captures the soul of his landscapes, which emerge with all their intensity under the filtered veil of the haze.
A «plein air» and with the solitude of blank paper and a case of colours, Llorenç Gual crosses Mallorca from end to end in search of the motif that most enthuses him: it can be a well-known cove, the street of a village or a derelict house; the result of his artistic work will always be a creation full of beauty and delicacy.
The master Llorenç opted from the outset for the most arduous paths and the roads imposed by the farthest distances. However, a great artist is nonconformist. He is not pleased to be leveraged in the comfortable position of an accommodated painter. Nor does he seek short-term success and recognition. The greatest artists cook their mastery slowly and with the most diligence.
The passage of time is sometimes ungrateful, it does not recognize the merits to whom it should, and disdainfully, it unjustly dismisses prestigious artists to oblivion. Every so often, it also puts many others in their rightful place. Llorenç Gual has been forged as an artist in an impeccable trajectory distinguished by perseverance in his work, a permanent will of self-improvement and his unconditional love for beautiful things.
Damián Verger Garau
Perito Judicial en obras de Arte y Antigüedades y Crítico de Arte