THE HUMOUR AND ETERNAL QUALITY OF PASCAL PLASENCIA’S WORK

Josep M. Cadena

Humour, irony, along with satire and other forms of exposing human faults, both specific and social, may be converted into operating virtues if those who use them are able to control them with sufficient admonitory moral stature and sense for them to become an expression of a generous and necessary will for collective improvement. They may also be useful channels for the progress of aesthetic ideas, as has been widely and roundly established in literature and the performing arts. Similarly, it is also possible to find noteworthy examples in the plastic arts and in drawings and paintings, and although not with the same level of abundance as in other fields, references to them exist, without having to leave Catalonia or contemporary authors, in works by artists as important as Ismael Smith –who was Catalan despite his English surname– and Josep Granyer, who created works which undoubtedly deserve to be exhibited in the museums and public establishments of our land. In this respect, the sculptor and sketcher Pascal Plasencia (Barcelona, 1962), whose work is already well known and disseminated through the different exhibitions he has staged, has singular, notable characteristics that contain a grace and hilarity which provoke laughter and smiles, superimposed on a deeply human background that makes it impossible to taunt his characters and establishes a wide path to transcendental reflection.

Pascal Plasencia is a contemporary sculptor who uses the society in which we live as a model, converting ordinary people into heroes and heroines in their daily struggle for survival. The woman who reads and waits; the man with the umbrella; the boy climbing a tree; the travelling salesman; the musician playing the double bass; the pipe-smoker and the horse-rider are all pieces on the world’s chess board, co-existing alongside a dog looking backwards and three pomegranates filled with a secretive and indigestible sweetness. A direct, pungent modernity which nonetheless is built on archaic lines that take us back to the past; for the past imbues the present that builds the future.

Pascal Plasencia’s sculptures are amusing and yet serious; ironic and yet tender; witty and yet by no means mocking. The sculptor admires his characters, be they people, creatures or plants. In this respect he is a Franciscan walking barefoot with a smile on his lips, his gaze cast downward and his spirit convinced that amidst the dark clouds there is a strip of blue sky. I regard his work, which captures the accidental nature of things, as absolutely unique.

Josep M. Cadena
Art Critic
Barcelona, 22 April 2014

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