By Claudia Zavala – Valencia, Spain
Photos: Gothy, L'Osservatore Romano y Attilio Pirino
Margoth López, known as Gothy, He exudes passion when she talks about her artistic work. Apparently, It is a serene and unhurried woman, but as you share your creative projects evidence in it a power and a special sensitivity. Especially when he is talking about one of his proudest: Blessed painting Oscar Arnulfo Romero.
El Salvador is headquartered in Milan, since July 2005, It is a graduate in Fine Arts, National University of El Salvador. The first window from which projected his work, while still a student, It was the "Latin American Exhibition of Young Talents", held in Brazil, in 1999. With the vision of an international projection to another level, selected to Italy, the great cradle of the Renaissance and of universal artists, school as a possible professional and personal development. In 2015, After working on some initiatives for your local council and the Ministry of Public Instruction, He set up his own atelier and laboratory paint, from which he teaches and develops his artistic projects.
Definitely, the portrait that has transpired in his work is the image of the Blessed Salvadoran. She says it was in 1994 when he made the first picture on Romero, who always had a deep admiration and devotion. "From an early age, my parents instilled in me a strong respect and devotion to him. from young, I have made several of his portraits for me or my family, but he never had exposed, until the year 2015, the resident Salvadoran community in Milan asked me to do a painting as a present to Pope Francisco, in gratitude for the beatification of Romero ".
The request was made by the painter received the responsibility to conduct a thorough proposal, We felt, that would capture the personality with great force, character and humility of Romero. "They say it was half shy, although it was transformed into homilies. I spent several weeks making a technical exercise not only, but expressive. spontaneously I started a spiritual journey, to concentrate intensely in the figure. I did a literature search, historical, iconographical, beyond popular knowledge. I wanted to connect to another level with him ".
According to account Gothy, that connection plunged into a sort of creative trance passing for hours, to give life to the dimensions of 50×70 Picture centimeters. He selected the oil technique, because it is the quintessential technique used for works that transcend time. It is also the most complex, as it involves technical breaks in work done in phases. Each layer of paint requires a 4 days of drying, mixing a total of 5 layers in a perfect harmony of colors, Textures, lights and shadows. The possibility of mixing colors and shades is endless.
"I have a studio where I paint my pictures. But this, curiously, I wanted to do in my house. It is symbolic, because from the beginning I wanted to create that bond of intimacy. There were times when I really felt your company, his look, Your presence. One day, that feeling was clearer, more real. I even did back, I left the box, to try to take away and react to what was happening to me, but it was something completely engulfed me. It never happened to me something like. For me it was a mystery ".
To paint layers were dried, Gothy took the box to the terrace of his house. He notes that the neighbor who lives on the same floor saw him from the balcony. Touched by image, he dared to knock on the door of his house and ask him about the character of his portrait. Gothy he briefly explained the history of Romero and she validated commenting that, curiously, I had seen a documentary about it on Italian TV, about his beatification.
"I insisted much in his eyes. He told me he'd hit. It called my attention, because the lady was really excited in conversation, almost wanting to mourn, without really knowing who he was. He asked me to deliver it before the Vatican, please, teach him "the finished picture.
The chain of special events around the table continued when Gothy, returning from shopping, building up its loud listening and seeing faces of concern of some neighbors. They told him that the young son of the woman who had asked for the painting had fallen from a third floor. The ambulance had taken him to hospital. And everyone feared the worst.
The day after that fact, the painter was found on the stairs of her neighbor, I was going to the hospital to see his child: "The bad wine, destroyed, desperate, really distressed. When he saw me, I said 'Monsignor Romero ask for my son'. I told him it was the first thing he had done. I did not care and that his son would be fine ".
After a week and against all odds, the child left the hospital without any fracture or bruise. Everyone was surprised. "I lived it as a miracle, something really spiritual, and he found that something was happening in that process I was also going through, As the work come alive ".
Romero's portrait was presented to Pope Francis at the Vatican by representatives of the Embassy of El Salvador in the Holy See and in the presence of a busy community of compatriots. The Pope added artistic admiration for the high quality and realism achieved.
Vatican Radio took a picture of that moment went viral and got Gothy work will be screened at borders than ever imagined. "People communicated with me from various parts of the world. A lady who knew him told me he had managed to capture its essence, his soul, I was really surprised. I feel enormous gratitude for having lived this process and give part of it to the world, from the force of a canvas. God uses art to convey its beauty, his spirit and creation. The artist is the bridge, the receptor. I was only an instrument and I let myself be guided. Was a present. something beautiful, spiritual, He left me a lot as a person and as an artist ".
The special experience in creating this portrait drove in Gothy the desire and inspiration to make a second. This time, 100×150 centimeters, based on the same photograph, but Length and using the technique "black on black".
Without a clear destination, at the end of the table, let him installed in his studio, for about a year. To his surprise, It was Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez who requested the work, to expose in the parish assigned to him in Rome. "We made the necessary arrangements and this year 2018 the picture was enthroned in Rome. I traveled personally to deliver. I shared my creative and spiritual process with Rosa Chavez. And just, at that time he agreed that Pope Francis made the consistory in which he announced the canonization of Romero. To me are signs, it is as if he was predestined for something important and he was just biding his time. There is a divine design that one does not know, but suddenly you are seeing and understanding everything. It is becoming clear. One viewer is just something big is happening ".
Definitely, Gothy creative projection has evolved to levels not imagined. Even when he was named "Distinguished painter El Salvador" by the Legislature, in March 2017. Developing his art from a culture and an environment noted for its historic and artistic power, not lose sight of its roots and the path that you want to continue: "I came to this country already formed. And now I'm contributing artistically on this earth with so much cultural history. Through me also they know our culture. Italy is conservative and lives much of its artistic tradition. For me, I see different it is something positive. My colors, my style, my language, that makes me what I am. This diversity is art. I feel I value my identity and they know they do not want to imitate and respect. I would create a foundation for programs in El Salvador and develop the art, at different levels. When we have had the privilege of forming and growing, We are committed to return to our homeland part of what has given us ", ends.