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  • Writer's pictureGabrielle Turnbull

A Spanish Arts Magician

Creating any work of art requires skills gained through practice, usually years of it and possibly tuition at some point.


Portrait painting is no exception, requiring very particular expertise in creating a likeness of the sitter and the personality.


This was brought home to me recently during a conversation with one of my adult students at the Art So Lively Academy. She mentioned she had come across illustrations of the work of the contemporary Spanish painter Sergi Cardenas. She said she was astounded at this artist's ability, and on seeing this artist's work, I was too. He takes portraiture to another incredible level.


“It has come to be recognised as the `lenticular` painting style. This means that as the viewer's eyes move across the painting, the image changes from one image to another quite different image.”

This post-war artist was born in 1972 into a family that had a three-centuries-old ironworks foundry business named Ferris d'art Cardenas in the Spanish city of Girona.


At 15 years of age, Sergi commenced working in the family business and was managing it by the age of 20. By the time he turned thirty, without formal schooling, he had started painting portraits and found he was good at it.


Portrait painting became his passion, and he experimented with many different techniques. One such technique involved dual images, which he remembered seeing as a young boy. He knew them as `flip` images. He decided to use this technique most sophisticatedly in his portrait painting. The results are both unique and visually unbelievable.


The more he experimented with this kinetic technique, the more his portraits improved. It has come to be recognised as the `lenticular` painting style. This means that as the viewer's eyes move across the painting, the image changes from one image to another quite different image.

Thus in the case of the Cardenas portraits, his paintings have, as if by magic, two different portraits in one work.


Nowadays, while still painting portraits in his studio for national and international art exhibitions, he is recognised as a `master artisan` and continues to manage the family foundry business, which is acknowledged as an important part of Girona's cultural and architectural history.


If you want to experience the magic of Sergi Cardenas's work, you can find Sergi Cardenas on YouTube.


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