START POINT PRIZE – Prize for emerging artists

JavierNavarro Romero

Since the 19th century, European culture has been approaching a certain part of its cultural heritage which had hardly been observed before: pre-Christian myths. Up to then they were perceived through the ancient period when they were transformed into literature, whereas the Christian culture alone pushed these earlier beliefs into the sphere of superstition, the infernal realm and black magic. Despite the gap of a thousand years, nowadays we are able to reconstruct their original form and a sense of the life of pre-Christian culture thanks to the field of cultural anthropology. Myth in a variety of forms then became one of the favorite themes of modern art – Symbolism, Surrealism and Post-Modernism. It is also the main theme in the artwork of Javier Navarro Romero who deals with many often contradictory cultural motifs in a unique syncretic approach: eroticism together with death and infantilism, beauty (colored sequins) with disgust (animal skulls set with beetles), the archaic with the contemporary when e. g. copulating unicorns are conceived in colors typical for the designs of Desigual – a popular Spanish fashion brand. (mf)