Sisifo (according to Homer the wiser of all mortals) is known for being the king of Éfira condemned by the gods to repeat the same action over an over again: to push a heavy stone towards the top of a mountain and then to see how this stone goes down towards the same point of departure in a never ending nightmarish circle.
Albert Camus considered Sisifo the hero of the absurd. A hero aware of his own fate, who thinks all the time about the endless action he is carrying out. Somehow the Camus vision of Sisifo makes me think of Daniel Chust Peters, an artist who has been basically repeating the same idea in his work for more than 30 years, starting in the early 90s until now. Daniel once wrote a short statement which defines his practice with an unavoidable sense of humour:
1- I’ve got an idea: I’ll reproduce my studio
2- I haven’t got any ideas: I’ll reproduce my studio
3- I’ve got another idea: I’ll reproduce my studio
Absurdity relates as well to a certain moment in surrealism but in the case of Daniel Chust Peters I see his personal artistic endeavour more like a pure act of resistance. Resistance that even resonates louder in a world seeking constant change and evolution, in a society where we get tired very often of ideas or images which are repeated more than 2 or 3 times.
La vie au grand air features a careful selection of works which belong to the beginning of his career expanding from 1990 (with the first work he ever created around the subject of reproducing his studio) until 1994. Somehow seeing these curated selection of works from a contemporary perspective adds more relevance to Daniel Chust Peters oeuvre. These collages, drawings or sculptures are owners of a non pretentious beauty which echoes a clean and simple poetic, bringing a forgotten pleasure to our eyes.
It is now during those past years with the pandemic ruling the world where we can even take more joy in interacting with Daniel’s works, the luminous delicacy of a Vol ras, 1994 a group of 3 sculptures reproducing the 3 spaces in which the works where exhibited in Barcelona in 1994 during an artistic event in the city, objects created as if they were cages which were meant to hold butterflies, it’s simply splendid in its details. Not to mention the naiveté and pure freshness of his collages and drawings like the ones in which we see the layout of his studio occupied by a cloudy blue sky making us imagine again the world through the eyes of a child.
But do not be mistaken, all these refinements stand as the fruit of an artist that despite his grace and humility is one of the few of the remaining intellectuals in Spanish sculpture, a voice long forgotten but impossible to avoid when we revise the art of our country in the later years of the XXth. Century.