One of the world’s greatest living painters, the Spanish artist José Manuel Ciria has spent over 30 years experimenting with a tremendous range of techniques and ideas, addressing historical crises and mass media representation alongside explorations of chance procedures. He agreed to appear on camera for the first time for a film by filmmaker Artur Balder.
His follow-up, Ciria pronounced Thiria, is exactly that: a thrilling document of Ciria’s creative process, juxtaposed with intimate conversations (with his collectors, his collaborators, and the American critic Donald Kuspit) and rare archive material. From our fly-on-the-wall perspective, we watch the 53-year-old create a series of large-scale canvasses, using fat brushes and a massive squeegee to apply (and then scrape off) layer after layer of brightly colored paint. This mesmerizing footage, of a highly charged process of creation and destruction, turns Balder’s portrait of an artist into a work of art itself.