Precision is an essential condition of attention and concentration; it is an attitude that I consider to be fundamental for artistic creation. Olga Muñoz uses it and goes beyond extreme technical detail. The challenge she has set herself is to capture in very close close-ups, hair by hair, the vital rhythm of pets, which, through her precise vision, she almost turns into hairy abstractions. It has always been said that children and animals are the hardest subjects to paint or photograph and this is because their vitality is uppermost – pure energy in movement – and this makes it a challenge. True to my sources, when I say the works of this series by Olga Muñoz for the first time, I was reminded of a text from traditional oriental painting, which speaks of the importance of capturing the vibration of things – their vital energy: “Okio painted a wild boar that he had found asleep in the forest and was very satisfied with his work. A woodcutter who saw the painting injured his pride by saying that that wild boar seemed more sick than asleep: the latent power of its limbs was not represented in the drawing. The next day, Okio received a message saying that the wild boar had not moved from its place and that it was dead.”
This quotation highlights the chi, the energy that dwells among us as the substance of everything that exists and that the woodcutter could see. I believe that Olga Muñoz captures this vital rhythm in a privileged way. And to do this, she not only uses her technical skill but empathizes with the animals. Empathy is a very old word that is currently in fashion and is simply the connection between subject an object, between the ego and the other. Being able to capture the invisible vibration. At first glance, it may seem that the difficulty resides in faithfully representing each painted hair… and it does. But there is something more – that finely detailed painting, like oriental calligraphy, requires the very hairs of the brush to be completely energized with the artist’s chi because, otherwise, the line of each painted hair would be dead. And here, in her work, I see living animals.
Jesús Martínez Clarà
OLGA MUÑOZ BLASCO
Born in Barcelona. She graduated in Art and Design, specializing in painting and drawing, from the Escola Massana. She pursued higher studies in Conservation and Restoration of Heritage at the Universitat de Barcelona, specializing in restoration and conservation of natural-science collections. She currently teaches pictorial procedures at Massana Permanent.