new-york

Julio Galán

Annina Nosei Gallery

Julio Galán’s paintings, no matter what their subject matter, inevitably conjure female medieval mystics—their copious tears, their silence, and their mouths, tasting of honey at the moment of union with the longed-for body of Christ. Although his work has often been compared to that of Frida Kahlo, with which it does share compelling affinities, Kahlo’s work is essentially secular, rooted in the agony of daily existence. Galan’s, however, is driven by a profound and transfiguring sensual disturbance.

The dark undercurrent in Galán’s work—in the past he has specifically referenced the diabolical—heightens the intensity of his mystical effusions. As Georges Bataille wrote of the agonies of love, “If love is sometimes pink, pink goes well with black, without which it . . . would surely lose that quality which affects the senses.” While the dark borders of these paintings evoke the black-rimmed

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