If you've ever come across an Old Masters painting on the decaying walls of an abandoned seaside shack or among the discarded boxes of favorite snacks and beverages, these works are most likely the products of Spain-based Julio Anaya Cabanding, an artist who recreates masterpieces on dilapidated structures and found materials.

julio anaya18

After a series of successful solo shows in Italy and The Netherlands last year, Cabanding kicks off 2020 with a debut solo show in Valencia, Spain. PLASTIC MURS Gallery presents Travesía Litoral // Coastal Crossing, an exhibition featuring nine acrylic paintings on found cardboard and an enlarged photograph of a pictorial public intervention.

The Málaga-based painter wants to connect his hometown and the city where he shows as a part of an ongoing effort to pay tribute to classic masters and their legacy. Images included in the show represent work by Valencian artists who were members of the Málaga School of painting or whose works can be seen in local museums and institutions. From Enrique Simonet's study The Beheading of Saint Paul, which the artist "removed" from the Málaga Cathedral into an abandoned location in the city, to prominent examples of works by Joaquín Sorolla, Antonio Muñoz Degrain, Emilio Sala, Ignacio Pinazo, and Bernardo Ferrándiz y Badenes. Building on a unique methodology that re-evaluates existing cultural records, the young painter formulates new stories while bringing a historically significant oeuvre into a different spotlight.

julio anaya04

This connection between contemporary art and historical tradition results in thought-provoking work. Often putting more accent on the framing and appearance in space rather than the actual image, Cabanding strives not to replace the original, but to enhance and maybe demystify their untouchable importance. While pictorial interventions may feel like mere copies of existing work, the recreation on a piece of scrap material recontextualizes their iconic, prestigious aura. This idea might be most noticeable in a new series of large-scale interventions featuring studies by Joaquin Sorolla, which were commissioned for the Hispanic Society of America. Providing the viewer with just enough information to make the connection, the small pieces are also bespoke framed, imposing questions about the way fine art is perceived. Sasha Bogojev

Photo Courtesy of Estrella Jover