Combining elements appealing to morbid fascination with a hearty appreciation of European artistic tradition, Manuel Sandoval paints a wonderfully diverse and interesting world. All the big emotions are covered here; death, sex and intrigue. His strong background in anatomical drawing provides the ideal starting point to produce some deliciously unnerving art. His perfectly captured figures leap from the canvass, seemingly alive.
His style is at once recognisably Mexican, drawing comparisons with Frida Kahlo, building on obsession and darkly prophetic subject matters that draw the viewer in. Ghostly figures brush against the living, imaginations combine with reality and dreams merge with the waking world. Only a cold heart could fail to be pulled towards the juxtaposition of ideas and feelings in his work.
Each image feels as though it is a snapshot of a larger picture or a movie still from a long, intricate story. Every character hangs heavy with the weight of a back-story, or looks onwards towards an unknown future. These paintings capture a moment and leave the viewer in no doubt that the story has yet to be concluded. This is an art of the instant, a capturing of an essence without seeking to put boarders around it. Ex-lovers sit beside beds, under a blanket of cigarette smoke. Backs are turned and faces obscured. The outline of one lover is so obscured it reaches beyond the point of being recognisable.
Geometrically articulate paintings of great cathedrals draw on the artistís technical skill. The walls shrink to the vantage point and hang all around the action, like the edges of a stage or the chapters of a book. Flashes of crimson illuminate the canvasses, each individual given life by the palette of the artist. The figureís chaos makes them stand out against such an ordered backdrop, the emotion at odds with the setting. These are paintings which feel at once antique and modern; equally classical and Mexican. The emotion, however, is universal. The feelings within his work are recognisable to any audience, which is why he so deserves his place as LondonArt artist of the week.