"I want color and its luminous vibration ... I know that it, as light, has another nature, different from the pigment color, but I want to find it desire to follow the project."
Nelson Wilbert's recent paintings present us with a sophisticated unfolding of his production characterized by the presence of camouflage. In them the marriage of images of icons of the history of painting with formal patterns demand of the spectator a constant movement, so that it can find an ideal distance for their enjoyment. This marriage is here effected, roughly speaking, in two ways. One is the capture and manipulation of the image in the digital medium and the other its transfer to the canvas mediated by the painting.
But how does the artist operate the marriage of images? First Wilbert seeks a classical image, which goes through numerous processes of digital processing, allowing him to produce variations from it. The next step is to choose the image of a formal pattern, which can range that of a camouflage to a formal floral pattern of the 19th century. These images are also scanned and edited by the artist.
With the images edited and stored in virtual memory, the artist undertakes the conception of his projects. This endeavor consists in "marrying" the images and formal patterns overlapping them, through the transparency and color filters of the digital programs it dominates. With them the artist studies the behavior of color, shape and also produces a very large number of projects in a short time. According to Wilbert, "it would take a lifetime to do dozens of projects for each painting if I did all the studies manually. The computer is, for me, an indispensable tool that makes me arrive faster where I want to. "After completing the numerous projects, the long process of choosing among the projects is the one that will be transferred to its final address: a painting."
Once the project is chosen, the artist faces other challenges. One is to faithfully transfer this intricate design from digitally superimposed images to the canvas, as the tangle of lines is complex and puts in check his manual and perceptive ability all the way through the process. The other is to chase the color conquered in front of the computer screen as it is his first color palette during project design. And the challenge is to reproduce the color-light through the color pigment.
We have now come to the painting; to the place where the marriage of images finds its terrain. At this point Wilbert himself tells us: "I realized that I am doing, associating images of icons from the history of painting with patterns of camouflage, a type of remix, as it is called in the universe of music". In Wilbert's paintings our gaze also traverses and glides in a movement that is now swallowed by a vibrant tone, now led by a line. At first this line outlines a face. Later it makes us digress and we find ourselves chasing the clue of what would be a flower or vegetable motif. Here we try to look closely and look from afar. And from any position that we face, we venture into a terrain that is known to be simulated.