Debajo del Sombrero is a pioneering project in Spain seeking, as its professional compromise, the incorporation of the artistic language and the vision of people with intellectual disability into the sphere of contemporary art.
Today, 15 years after its inception, the Debajo del Sombrero studio hosts 42 artists, some of whom have already garnered the attention of different art museums, private collections or international biennials such as, recently, Berlin’s or Shanghai’s.
This is the first time the studio attends the Outsider Art Fair in Paris, and does so represented by three of its artists: Miguel Ángel Suesta, Alberto Bustillo, and Olga Peña.
The force behind what they are depicting gives the works of these three artists its pulse, and highlights the tension that accompanies their creative acts. Similarly, this force and intensity is the outlet through which they seem to manifest the traces of past, indelible impressions:, memories, situations, longings…; events and experiences—fortunate or unfortunate—that stay restless within, demanding that something be done about them. Most readily at hand, this something can be simply to relive them, to reenact and express the experiences again and again, as many times as it takes until their unsettling force is tamed. Expressing these subjective experiences means, after all, turning them objective. Turning them into an image—into images that are something like a victory over the urgency and the anxiety with which some decisive events sometimes enslave us.
Alberto Bustillo hums to himself and rocks his body as he draws. His rhythm seems to envelope the entirety of the work. He usually goes for a thick graphite stick, attaining almost pitch-black shades by devoting hypnotic levels of insistence to some areas of the drawing. His drawings have the naive air of old TV cartoons. They feature animal shapes that, dreamlike, mix and converge into each other, and stare at the viewer with eyes wide-open, as if under a blinding light.
2021 Open house. Center for Artists in Residence at Matadero Madrid.
2019 Alberto Bustillo/ Rodrigo Cabrera. Aina Nowack Gallery, Madrid.
2018 Debajo del Sombrero 10 años. Aina Nowack Gallery, Madrid.
2017 Black & White. Outsider Art Galerie, Amsterdam.
2017 Bar Cock. Madrid.
2016 Brake a Leg. European Culture Capital, San Sebastian.
2013 Mundo Extreme. La Casa Encendida, Madrid.
The straightforward and carefree use of wax in Olga Peña’s drawings is the most obvious testimony of her effective use of plastic media. Her drawings show no signs of digression, no preliminary essaying. Everything in them reflects concretion and a clarity of mind supported by impulsiveness and determination. In such cases, action is as fast as the ideas and feelings that inspire it are clear. Traits revealed by the generous strokes and the stains that surround these drawings, from which improbable characters stare at the audience.
2021 Open House. Center for Artists in Residence at Matadero Madrid
Miguel Ángel Suesta
For Miguel Ángel Suesta, drawing involves satisfying a desire inspired by the naked female figure; satisfying it through indirect participation in the eroticism generated by the vision of two women making love. This helps explain why some of his drawings show him nested in the background, transformed into some kind of—voyeur—audience that watches over the scene.
These are fleeting drawings, casually executed. Their subjects are taken directly from erotic photographies in paper press or the internet, with the only precondition that they always, always display a lesbian composition, with two or more naked women making love.
2022 Lactitud. Valentín de Madariaga Foundation. Sevilla.
2022 Open House. Center for Artists in Residence at Matadero Madrid.
2019 Corazón Pulmones Hígado. Center for Artists in Residence at Matadero Madrid.
2014 La canción propia. Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.
2013 Mundo extreme. La Casa Encendida, Madrid.