Nino Mier Gallery is pleased to present Some New Disorders, our first solo exhibition by Spanish painter Paco Pomet. On view in Brussels through December 16, 2023, the exhibition will feature a series of new oil paintings and charcoal drawings that appropriate—and subvert—archival imagery with the inclusion of the artist’s characteristically irreverent details.

In Some New Disorders, Pomet intrudes upon his signature monochromatic, realist scenes with illustrations that are both cartoonish and surreal. Pomet collects his source images from family archives, flea markets, and the internet. But rather than using photography to nostalgically reflect on the past, he uses these collected pictures as material for more contemporary aesthetic interventions. In his paintings and drawings, the new and the old collapse, fracturing divisions between modern and contemporary modes of representation.

Drawing inspiration from vintage photographs of figures, household interiors, and cityscapes, Pomet disrupts a sense of archival solemnity through the inclusion of absurd details. In The Critic (all works 2023), for instance, Pomet paints a realist depiction of an artist and a suited critic standing before an easel en plein air. The artist’s hands are massively exaggerated, rendered in a style common to comic books or graphic novels. These enlarged hands physicalize the artist’s anxiety under a critic’s gaze while also rendering the scene’s stuffiness entirely farcical. Similarly, in Charm, a man swings a woman gracefully, each dancing in elegant ballroom attire. The woman’s feet, however, are indecorously bare and cartoonishly caricatured, bringing a moment of grotesque humor to the refined and genteel atmosphere of the work.   

Throughout most of the works, Pomet works in an impishly satirical register. He tends to fix his gaze manifestations of power and class, mediating their representations with locker room and gallows humor alike. In Small Talkers, a group of well dressed, distinguished men lounge around a table, seemingly drunk. Each “gentleman” grasps at a single speech bubble, a comic pictorial device that underscores both the image’s latent buffoonishness and the figures’ upper-class myopia. The satirical mode also extends to Pomet’s use of materials, as he often adds acrylic and marker to his oil paintings, an admixture of high and low materials.

In Some New Disorders, Pomet’s oil paintings are complemented by a series of small-scale charcoal on paper drawings. The works feature surreal figures isolated on white backgrounds, imparting an almost allegorical weight to their cartoonish, hybrid forms. These paper works make clear Pomet’s desire not to revisit old images as sites of nostalgic attachment, but rather to use their constructs to create newly imaginative, impish images.