Los Angeles

Leonel Gongora

Zora Gallery

By now Gongora may be resigned to com­parison with Goya. There is evidence that he promotes the comparison; squatting, dog-faced women, undefined irony. Is he ironical because he rea­lizes that he is appreciated for peri­pheral statements? Probably. He must know that his central message is not directed to worried humanists or to writers with a taste for the macabre but to a much smaller audience—con­noisseurs of draftsmanship. Who today, he may ask himself sleeplessly, remembers Goltzius, Callot, or the drawings of Ucello or di Cosimo? How do you make your talent noticed when it is the talent of another century? Stain a drawing to make it look weathered. Make a drawing look like a painting by adding color to the background. Toss the name of Genet into a title as a bone for the blind literati.

Goya saw in masses, he was a paint­er; Gongora sees in lines, he is a drafts­man. Tortured distortion in drawing proceeds as often from a desire to force the form as from a need to force the issue.

––William Wilson