Text by Rosa Queralt
Portrait as a form of speech, language and a system of signs
Portrait as a form of speech, language and a system of signs; this crossroad that to Roland Barthes seemed inseparable from the photographic portrait – a “Tableau Vivant” in his words – could be applied very well to the many drawings and paintings that Idoia Montón has devoted to the genre, with examples made in Bilbao, San Sebastian and Barcelona. A logical dedication for those who want to make something alive from art but portrait or self-portrait, in her case do not share a common language, there are no stylistic affinities between them at a formal level. Nor are the sources repeated: some come from nature, others are based on photographs and others have their origin in video stills or television. And the same happens technically: she uses brush, pencil, pen, ink, wax, oil or acrylic.
Different classifications are paraded through these compositions, although in general they are close to one another, their choice can be determined by purely artistic interests. The details and nuances- faces, attitude, gesture, situation or decoration- are conditioned as much by the elements that are involved during its execution as by the demands of the portrait itself and the response demanded at that time by the character. The paintings, whose stroke is precise and powerful, with a very elaborated expressive density, summarize the aspirations and convictions of the artist in her approach to a rigorous realism, while the drawings – especially the oil pastels because the immediacy of the process-, outline emotions, feelings and the serenity in the pain characteristic of symbolism.