For his second show at Bombon, multidisciplinary Spanish artist Josep Maynou presents a series of new and old works made of found, gifted or appropriated objects. With the cheeky title ‚Chuletas‘, which means as much as cheat codes, the artist unites a flock of text and film based works alongside his trademark surrealistic objects readymades that read themselves ‚life captions‘ of the everyday.
Josep Maynou: Chuletas
9 March - 29 April, 2023
Bombon Projects, Barcelona
His works emit awe and wonder in a most subtle yet fantastical, imaginary and mind bending manner, like when a grandfather is telling his grandson bedtime stories where small boxes of baking soda are turning into foam expanding playhouses or suit belts are snaking around columns becoming animate objects talking about restraint and order, about not loosing ones pants and fake luxury brands. This is the world of Josep Maynou, a free circling diaristic world, which serve the viewer simple life hacks. His objects stop time for a few moments where whit and poetry merge into one, a metamorphosis not only of structure and matter but of ideas and definitions.
Two of the most striking group of works are on the one hand a series of wooden chopping boards, hung from a metal railing. Different in sizes and shapes, they are incised via the means of drawing with a burning needle. Depicting small cartoons, texts, notes - they are often made in collaboration with friends and family - an analog IG feed if you want, charmingly reminding you of the comfy dinner you had with friends in their kitchen. Across the room on the other side there is a series of new works - same sized metal plates are again, similar to the wooden boards, written and drawn-on with the aid of a welding apparatus. Fine yet solid raised lines look like some branded tattoo spell out “WhatToDo?DoDoDo... “ or “CallMe+34... “ or they outline forms and shapes of „Two Screws“ next to each other while another looks like van Goghs „Vase with 12 Sunflowers“. Through the repetition of these monochromatically tinted wooden or metal notepads comes a certain sense of calm, familiarity and sense of introspection despite it not making sense on a personal level. Somehow, there is a deeper connection being formed - something within our own DNA gives us this AHA experience where we see our own reflection or as Jung would call it, where we share a collective subconscious that is arrested within the times we live in.
Against the back wall and facing the gallery’s entrance, sit three large vertical TV screens depicting short video clips made in his studio or outdoors in public, they are images of his shadow kicking a stone, his wife tongue clicking to the beat of a song or an old couple walking down an alley holding hands, while in their other, they are holding identical bottles, an image of perfect symmetry only rendered possible after years of co-habitation. Maynou creates countless short videos, made on his cell phone and adds them to his growing diaristic inventory of sometimes more and sometimes less important life observation. One day his recordings, animate or inanimate will become the source of research, of how humanity lived in the early 21st century, complex stories unpacked into simplified hieroglyphical slates of images. Josep Maynou is a modern day archeologist because he sees things as they truly are, without any suggestion of hyperbole intent, they simply serve as cheat codes for everyone and everything can become.