The Feminine with Josep Moncada
Josep Moncada studied painting in Barcelona, and now works from Ciutadella de Menorca, one of the Balearic islands off the coast of Spain. His stunning oil paintings are created in a style known as Figurative Hyperrealism, instead of simply recreating a scene in completely truthful detail, the artist imagines an enhanced reality that exists above and beyond a purely technical and therefore emotionally detached recreation of the original moment. The Hyperrealist adds extra drama and life to the natural light, the true color, and the emotional vibrancy of the original scene.
Moncada’s work is certainly a reflection of his Mediterranean environment, as the majority of his pieces feature bright, vibrant colors, dancing aquatic sunlight, and graceful women floating in carefree pools of clear turquoise water. This particular piece is just one in what appears to be a series of images created by Moncada; all featuring a woman in elbow-length red gloves, caught in momentary snapshots of her hypnotic sequences of movement that are taking place underneath the surface of the water. Gloves have long been seen a symbol of both power and protection, and in this piece they are the most compelling aspect of the image. Red is an intense color, associated with passion, and the combination of all these elements results in a piece overflowing with pure feminine strength.
This female figure appears completely confident as she pulls one red glove more securely up onto her arm and is seemingly unashamed of the fact that her upper torso remains exposed. It’s as if she is preparing herself for an upcoming opportunity to strike a certain reverent fear of the divine feminine into the heart of some other – and is simultaneously drawing the viewer into the water with a gesture to join her in her determination to take action.
What do you think of this painting?
The face is the most expressive part of the human body, and with it missing, it would normally be difficult to convey emotion. In this painting, however, the sense of strength and preparation for action is conveyed by the pulling on of the gloves, and the color red adds strength to this action, as you mention above. The torso is drawn in a way which might first draw attention and yet to ensure it does not distract from the action of pulling on the gloves, and the gloves themselves. Further, the gloves themselves are feminine, and normally accompanied by a long dress of the same color. Thus, femininity, strength, and action are conveyed. The difference between this painting and one where we could see her face is similar to the difference between watching a movie, which requires little imagination, and reading the book on which the movie is based, which brings the reader into the story and requires imagination and empathy to fully experience it. I love your explanation and interpretation in the article!