THE decline of a man can be as luminous as a sunrise. Imagination, volition, and faith are needed. Luis Feito fights every day with his brushes so that the death should know that some part of him would not go to the grave, but would remain built-in into the canvases of his paintings until they vanished with everything and everybody in the last radiance of the universe. With his 77 years, Feito, one of the most outstanding Spanish painters of the second half of the last century, has witnessed how 30 of his works detained for political reasons during franquism were found and collected to make possible the Recuperated Memory (1953-1955), an exhibition that marks his ingress to the abstract painting. The exhibition can be viewed in the gallery José de la Mano, one of the most stable exhibitory spaces in Madrid.
Do you regret having painted some canvases?
Nonsense! I can’t regret what I have painted. It would be as if I regretted having lived.
Do you not have an impression that everything that is connected to the art is a little bit boring?
Whether it is boring? Everything can be boring if we consider
things merely as commodity. The art is boring and repulsive when it turns into means of emptying people’s pockets and achieving ephemeral and false fame.
Does it make any sense in our time intoxicated with disappointment to say that the artist has to continue looking for the Absolute?
Definitely. The Absolute is something that makes our brains work and our heart to be interested in the reality and in something hidden. An authentic art can’t exist without the desire to materialize what makes us complete, what gives cohesion to what we see and what we feel.
"An Oil Without Title" by Luis Feito, dated by 1953, the year in when he plunged into abstaction.
How did you become engaged in this search?
I still realize that I’ll never reach the Absolute, but I can approach this nucleus of life if I don’t betray my ideals as an artist.
Does to be an artist mean: to reach the impossible?
Yes, but I can phrase it in a different way. I think that to be an artist is to give everything and to give it over and over again until the end.
This sounds good. But what happens when there is nothing more to give?
The secret lies in the ability to evolve. There are practically always obsessions and ideas in the mind of the creator. One needs to give to this raw material some adequate coherent expressions, that is to say, with order of your own career and evolution of the aesthetic criteria that are present every moment.
Summing up, he who doesn’t develop is dead as an artist.
Of course. And it’s not enough just to develop, to do what is dictated by the fashion, to give pleasure to bigwigs. I know that it sounds superficial but it must be said: one has to be honest with the artistic consciousness that we have. This means that the works are created, and not produced.
You are not tired of developping so much?
No. I like to paint. I will relax when I die.