Sebastián Gámez Millán
Some people only see rubbish in the dismantled junk of the steel industry or do not see anything at all. However there are those who hopefully see the possibility of recycling it, which is a way to extract utility and find the sustainability and balance needed by the planet we inhabit. One step further is to possess the sensitivity and art to delay and play with the recreation of this waste to create unexpected and beautiful forms.
This is the case of José Antonio Millán Guerrero. The essential operation of art consists in shaping. In the same way that the poet erects a monument to memory, elaborating experiences with words, this craftsman molds and shapes iron to forge another strange alloy and discovers shapes we recognize and which renew our perception. It is the transition from the misshapen to shaped, from the invisible to the visible, from the unintelligible to the intelligible: it is light and the pleasure of recognizing.
We observe that by means of mime, that is, of imitation and representation, we appear bamboo canes, rushes, wild shrubs, a certain variety of pines, so characteristic of the Mediterranean geography. There is nothing in the imagination that has not gone through the senses before. Its main source of inspiration is nature, which is still the most amazing and fertile that we know.
However, it offers us phenomena that do not exist in the natural world and that if it were not for the mind and the hand that follows the order would not exist. Art is the creation of worlds that are not of this world, but that can end up being incorporated, widening the limits of the imagined and known until then, and perhaps making nature more livable.
According to an old Greek conception that has not stopped persisting, since in a certain way it reaches the multifaceted School of the Bauhaus (the form follows the function), beautiful is what adapts to an end. These pieces by José Antonio Millán Guerrero possess this beauty, which is inseparable from utility. It is enough to stop at one of his most original works, the Allegorical Triptych, which, when drawn with iron, the space possesses pictorial and sculptural values, and at the same time serves to delimit rooms.
This ability to combine multiple functions (expressive, decorative, useful) reveals in the background the character of its author, who humbly embodies, within the limitations of our human condition, a high ideal: “I put everything in everything you do”. I have no doubt that if we all strive towards this ethical – aesthetic ideal, the world would be a more habitable space. When contemplating these pieces do not forget that they could be rubbish, smoke, dust, nothing.