Edu Carrillo at L21 Gallery

Artist: Edu Carrillo

Exhibition title: Hide the candies inside my hat

Venue: L21 Gallery, Mallorca, Spain

Date: November 12, 2021 – January 5, 2022

Photography: Lúa Oliver  / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and L21 Gallery, Mallorca

I have always found interesting the idea of wearing a hat. The main problem is that my head seems to reject any kind… the title of Edu Carrillo’s (Santander, 1995) first exhibition at L21, makes me forget this problem and imagine countless possibilities. For example, imagine walking down the street wearing a tall, beaked hat or even one of those caps that allow you to drink a soft drink while you’re walking. What a fantasy! I think many of us actually find them ridiculous, but who knows: maybe we will end up getting used to them in a few years. Everything is undoubtedly moving much faster nowadays. Trends come and go so fast that you never seem to be able to catch up with them. Knock, knock! You get a package at home with the latest cool trousers and by the time you put them on they are already vintage.

I am sure Edu would look good in any kind of hat, fashionable or not. He is capable of putting on a straw hat, going out and surfing any wave. This freedom and this boldness are perfectly reflected in the pictures he has painted for this exhibition. His explosive creativity and his desire to experiment in the studio seem to have no end. Every time he sends me an image of a new painting in progress it amazes me.

Hats, wooden planks, sketches trapped with drawing pins, photographs and visual references from art history… various objects and images coexist on the walls of many artists’ studios. They are infinite and changing billboards that feed the practice of painting. However, Edu paints that very reality: the billboards, the visual nourishment of his paintings. He paints the sketch of the boy in the hat, the grain of the wood, the crease in the paper and even the stains from the studio wall itself.

Standing in front of these paintings as a spectator really breaks my head. And with a broken head, how can I wear one of those hats? But meanwhile he, in his straw hat, has caught a good wave and has the stamina and balance to surf it all the way to the shore.

-Óscar Florit