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All images courtesy of the artist.

Julio Lopez Tournel

By Phil Goss 

Julio Tornel's work is presented as a series of studies. It is in the language of scientific discovery. They are reminiscent of the illustrations that came back with explorers from new worlds. Julio's forms also float on the blank page like a specimen separated from its habitat. They also demand a reverence in their status as a mimetic study. However what they describe is more an insight into the process of their creation rather than any external part of nature. 

The forms are suspended on the page existing somewhere between abstract shapes and natural forms. They are a part of something larger. This gives us the disconcerting feeling of being presented with a nature we are not connected to. They explain something, but we have no idea what that is.

However they tell us a lot about the subject of drawing itself. They are about decision making. We see the evidence of a mind constantly changing directions, picking up references and dropping them. His work seems to move forward at a alarming pace. Listening to the artist talk you realise there is a darwinian style survival of the fittest battle going on in his drawings. Where forms are used, assimilated , abused , glorified and then never seen again.

Having said that these drawing do have symbols that are repeated. The organ like forms appear like mussels out of their shells. There are cages and containing structures throughout. Often the forms become overtly sexual. Penis and Vagina like forms pulsate in pencil and watercolour. So the viewers status as a voyeur is never more intense than with these forms, like a victorian gentleman leering at an engraving of a naked savage.

Julio's pieces have an incomprehensibly large vocabulary. The images incorporate typography, all sorts of mark making, physical cutting of the paper and erasing. We witness the potential of his roaming use of different forms, structures and marks. Some aggressive, some delicate, some perverse and some humorous. 

Aggressive pencil lines carry associations with the obsessive marks of outsider artist. Others images are strangely sanitised and relate strongly to the clean consumer language of Disney. These could easily be Mickey Mouse's or Goofy's organs laid out on the blank paper. 

The viewer is sent through a spiral of signs and associations, but like being in a labyrinth we end up nowhere. Julio's forms are a finite representation of what is infinite; the minds compulsion to invent.



Phil Goss is an artist illustrator based in london studying at the Royal College of Art, London.

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