Shirley Kandea interviews painter Juan Uslé about his work and career. Uslé's works were recently on view in his exhibition Al Clarear at Frith Street Gallery, London.
Towards the end of the interview Kandea asks: "I think painting, unlike other mediums, has a tremendous history that can’t be ignored. The painter always has to work with this history even if it’s about emptying out that history. Would you agree?" Uslé responds: "I understand that your question refers to what I call a voice, or an invitation to a peculiar view—some works have that, and it seems timeless. No matter how many times you might see that work, you always find the thread that you’re never done unraveling. For me, painting’s legitimacy depends on that voice—that prevailing, inexhaustible quality, much more than on its circumstantial use value, technical factors, material conditions, its social or historical context, and those sorts of attributes which are so important to those who need to organize things. For me a pictorial gaze avoids those eschatologies."