Don Servando et l’autre – Focus 9

With Don Servando et l’autre the spectator enters directly into Clavé’s universe: his mid 70s figuration was getting round constraints, the composition experienced imbalances, technique and matter cast off the artistic codes then in place and there was no attempt to seduce. The canvas itself is visible, with parts left rough and coarsely (re)sewn.

Then what is there to see? Is it a battlefield? The end of a combat? A victory? A defeat? A closer look at the work leaves us no doubt. It depicts a scene of carnage. The bright blood-like red colour and the lacerations confirm this assumption for us.

Who is Servando, whose name has given title to the work? And who is the central armed character, whose smile is drawn with barbed wire? Where is “l’autre” (the other one)? Does the face in the upper left part of the composition represent him? This macabre dance is fascinating, and Clavé lets us alone decide who these enigmatic characters are.