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After having studied classical painting for several years in Mexico and Italy, and while living in Paris, more than ten years ago, Gildo Medina began to explore portraiting differently; he coined the term “neo-portrait”, to describe his own way of decontextualizing the classical way in which portraits are typically created and understood. In “neo-portraits”, Medina experiments with unique media, formats and materials, e.g., this exploration has included such things as the back of a mutilated antique chair, a tree trunk or pages in a sketchbook covered in gold leaf, a travel trunk, a leather canvas. Medina chooses each of these elements and materials with precise intention based on their particular characteristics and suitability for the creation of visual metaphors as an important part of storytelling in his portraits.
In neo-portraits, Medina recollects stories, often autobiographical, and expresses his concerns, fascinations, and obsessions through the different characters that inhabit his visual narrative. In this series, Medina questions traditional concepts of beauty, eroticism, and reality, building through confrontation, a renewed conception of his own identity.
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