Updated: Apr 5, 2020
Joaquín Peinado’s Landscape gives me a feeling of in-betweenness – the feeling of sand slipping out of your fingers while you are still trying to hold on to it and also simultaneously letting the sand go as you realize the futility of grasping it tightly. The feeling of clinging on painfully but at the same time glowing in the newfound peace of just letting it be.
As I take the liberty of personifying this visual, I imagine a man staring at the clear azure canopy of clouds with a sense of in-betweenness again – listening to his music, swinging back and forth – from a stiff state of bittersweet yearning to basking in the bliss of intoxicating nowness.
The bluish-green trees in Peinado’s painting create the much-needed ruffle to the boringly blasé air the houses emanate. They look like apparitions who have come to save the day with their translucent strokes and earnest clarity. There’s magic in monotony – and Peinado was perhaps stuck in the zone of merging ‘the drab’ and ‘the charm of everyday divinity’ – like pointing out an essential symbiosis, like the black smoke emanating from the houses heralding the transitional, yet still nature of daily domesticity.
‘Landscape’ also reminds me of lines of a Hindi song that resonates with the quality of a sort of ‘beautiful incongruity’ the creation managed to stir up.
‘Andhere ko baahon mein leke, Ujaale ne ghar basaaya hai.’
( The bright daylight finally settles down by holding darkness in its tight embrace.)
Just like the song, there are are contrasting elements in the creation that embrace each other like comfortable lovers. This layered piece, very gracefully, epitomizes the metaphor of existence – the way nature is always transparent, no hurry, no pretences whereas the human habitat – so opaque, busy creating shields and showy facades.
Every layer is a story in itself – the spire splitting through the somber strokes of sky, the sagacious stance of the mountains aligned harmoniously with the power of nature – the fierce yet peaceful foliage. The pink hues and the shades of aquamarine and teal give this state of in-betweenness a real form, a form that mildly stuns and gradually tranquilizes all at the same time, voila!