“A Cry for Peace” juxtaposes the tradition of tauromachy with modern art, the beauty of movement with the horror of death, the rendition of the past with the danse macabre of bullfighting and the cubist painting of “Guernica”. It also generates parallels between artificial and real battles, unfurling levels of pathos in both, emphasizing thanatos, both visible and not, with the eros of the bullfighter, the tragic hero, at once conqueror and conquered, who struggles with the human drama in the journey through Guernica.
Second part of the series “Goya Metamorphose”, “Witches” consist in the intervention of the 6 paintings of “Witch Matters” that the Dukes of Osuna commissioned Francisco de Goya to create for the palace “El Capricho”. With this revisit, the artist creates a dialog between the works of Goya and large-format photographs of six famous Spanish actresses: Maribel Verdú, Barbara Lennie, Inma Cuesta, Macarena García, Veronica Echegui and Adriana Ugarte. This reinterpretation of the work from the Spanish genius explores real meaning of the word witch as women of power, as well as this archetype in connection with the mystery of creation, destruction and rebirth.
The first part of the series “Goya Metamorphose”: “Angels” consist in five works of Francisco de Goya’s paintings of angels or winged beings intervened by Denise De La Rue with the inclusion of five iconic Spanish actresses: Michelle Jenner, Claudia Traisac, Anna Castillo, Natalia Molina and Juana Acosta. These contemporary muses are converted in “she angels” in homage to the ones painted by the Aragonese master. Highlighting the mysticism of the archetype of the angel. The work explores the parallelism between the meaning of the word angel as a messenger of God and the ethereal image of the actresses as messengers with capacity of creation and transformation.
On this series De La Rue creates a juxtaposition of the exhausted and bloodied matadors standing before iconic artworks highlighting the long tradition of life, death, beauty and violence in both art and human consciousness. Encapsulating the struggle between life and death, the beautiful and the cruel, the grisly and the sublime of the human condition.
For this project the artist counted with the collaboration of entities such as the of The Prado Museum, Picasso Museum, Reina Sofia Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Ducal House of Alba Collection and Ducal House of Medinaceli Collection among others.
This body of work portrays portraits of bullfighters in the aftermath of bullfighting, after having faced death in the arena. With baroque scenarios as a background, the photographs address the mystique of bullfighting and examine the double identity of the matadors that assert life right to the brink of death.
The bodies of the bullfighters still bear the marks of the battle and the death of the bull, showing us the internal struggle of the human condition and exploring the moral implications of this historical tradition today.