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Jorge Dager / Artist

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Equus Novus

Paintings by Jorge Dager


Jorge Dáger titled his latest exhibition Equus Novus. The exhibition brings together a group of works from the last two years, vivid images of today that could be hooked in time to the Guarani children of the artist, with all the gush of sensations that define it in character, personality and temperament. The horse is neither new nor fashionable in Jorge Dáger, it is part of his own culture and sensitivity, but these horses that he paints are.   In the course of the rural life of which he will be an artist, a mishap on horseback was able to blind his life, being forewarned not to mess with those animals for a long time. But Dáger made horses, painted them and placed them among his friends, works that he never cataloged or exposed, meanwhile imagined and magnified the horn of abundance in his Still Life to celebrate the obsequious Tropical Nature.   The horse, always the horse has been associated with the history of man. Words like marshal or count are related to those responsible for caring, shouting and calling horses to defend the city or kingdom. Riding in mythology, in history and by our minds famous horses like Janto, Bucéfalo, Babieca, Rocinante and Palomo … that were of Achilles, Alexander the Great, El Cid, the Quijote or the Liberator.   Francisco de Miranda, the first art critic, made a very good comment about the casting of the steeds on the main door of the church of San Marco in Venice. “… you see four horses of a superfine bronze, natural size, which is the best of how many art productions are seen there. Oh what beautiful figures! You can not get enough of them! “. (Diary of Travel, Venice, November 15, 1785). So admired and desired were these sculptures that Napoleon took them to Paris and had to be returned to the city of canals when the empire collapsed.   “The horse is a fundamental archetype inscribed in the memory of humanity”. The horse keeps a can, powerful and deep association with beliefs, myths and legends. The horse is mythology, symbology, esoterism, but it can also be simple and plain everyday led to sublimation.


We will not find readings of archetypal horses or symbolic horses in Jorge Dáger’s show. We will not see the Pegasus of Anibal Carraci or Melville, among other great masters of painting. Perhaps certain heraldic and epic clues we will find in works like Cabriola or Libertad; but it is not opportune to put spurs into our ability to imagine and fantasize. Dáger’s work is pure realism, which he himself has defined in several interviews: -As I like reality, I paint reality.


Our artist titled his new exhibition Equus Novus, referred to Equus ferus caballus, which translated from Latin means “New Horse”, antonym in sense and title to the internationally known musical page of Simón Díaz. The horses are the artistic innovations of Jorge Dáger, resized images that join the past of the artist, along with his present and future. Of this new genre of Dáger many things have to be said, they are exceptional works.


Our artist revived the whole world of personal experiences that tie him more actively with Nature, when he returned to the equestrian exercise as a sport. In the selection of 15 works, Jorge Dáger observes and exalts beings along with objects that merit time, resources and care. His new affections, besides the mangos, milky, caimitos, … have their own name Davinci, Era, Artemisa, Zobeida, …, also the implements used to go for a walk with them.


In this regard, he writes: “The brush and the Horse, both beasts difficult to tame and understand, but patience, love and passion come to channel all the force and fury in friendship and beauty.” Signature: Jorge Dáger.


Let us take a tour of some significant works of the exhibition:


Open the Nocturnal sample, on the cover of the catalog, a large-format tenebrist work that summarizes and compares the plastic repertoire of Jorge Dáger. That ability to be able to translate into a fabric greater tonalities through their observations. With resolve and mastery, through the cloak of darkness, the artist highlights the horse’s head at the edge of the night.


In Al horizon, 2011, deliberately unfinished, Jorge Dáger at the center of the work puts an emphatic accent on the eye of the mare, which reflects the deformed landscape in the eyeball. All a friendly companion is Era to which the artist honors, perhaps remembering the celebrated work The Marriage of Van Eick.


A song to life is Artemis, the daughter of Era, Dáger celebrates its birth. He proposes the theme with a general plan based on yellow and ocher colors, capturing and achieving the surprised look of the pot between the softness of his fur covered by the light.   Atmosphere of stealth and mystery we find in Luz de luna, 2011, the horse looks curious and watchful the muzzle. On the left, the wood, the hinges and the pin of the gate of the stable. It imposes on the viewer the night and the look of a being who almost perspires and snorts. Also in Davinci, 2010, Jorge Dáger in its truthfulness it is necessary to speak to the animal. He places the work in silver leaf and concentrates on the lassitude of the manes, the vigorous and young look of the horse, the softness of its lips and the details of the hare.   Zobeida, 2011, is reminiscent of the mare’s blood and the artist’s own origins. The fine animal body is defined by the fronds of the tail and mane, along with the fineness of its legs and hoofs. The composition balances an arch, to the right, and a key or a reference to the left, the lattice window originating the Arab, Berber and Moroccan culture.   In 2010, Jorge Dáger discreetly announces his new theme for the following exhibition. The first approaches make them with equestrian objects, exposed in the present selection My chair of peak, Ecoffey, The chair of Arturo … The accessories and implements of Jorge Dáger with hiperrealista approach have much load and attraction. The work El colgadero del Castaño, summarizes a world of wants and presences that have personal objects for the horse rider. Brake, buckle, spurs and horseshoe hang from the nail.   In the work La Faena, 2011, there is explicit homage and call to traditional forms of the field, means and details so that they remain in memory. For the first and only time, the man appears in the exhibition, dressed in leather jacket, some jackets or chaps, and black hat of modern rider. It is possible to see in the work a skillful management of the planes by placing the fence before the scene that is immediately behind and which the artist wants to highlight.   I wrote for the exhibition Tropos and Tropics by Jorge Dáger that in his still lifes the artist selected, composed and recomposed real objects, emphasizing the detail, from deliberately forced angles. In the art of Jorge Dáger there is an eagerness to perpetuate instants of the natural reality. The passage of time has been postponed, the story stops to be seen well. It is not hyperrealism of the Metropolis, which details the mass objects of consumption … In Dáger’s work, on the other hand, our memories of rural and semi-rural life are fixed, there are images along with flavors and smells, the experiences that bind us to Mother Earth. Dáger’s painting has a very personal emotional affective poetic tone, tones that touch visual cues and neurolinguistic sensations. In Equus Novus it is possible to find a pictorial language in constant change and in which it emphasizes several registers. Jorge Dáger is an artist of dazzles and renovations, he considers a stagnation the search for the perfect by the perfectionism itself. In this exposition of Jorge Dáger there is much, much more verismo of truth, without contraptions has gone to the essential thing with a work that looks for beyond the nature, and finds by observation revealed the eminently metaphysical. Jorge Dáger has gathered works where the intelligence of the Equus Novus pulsates. There are beliefs, ancient cults, philosophies and religions that give soul to the horse, among the living and intelligent beings of the universe. To conclude, let us quote Alberto Arvelo Torrealba in Coplas al Cancionero, who says in one of his verses: “In my horse tordillo / which I bought with royal nobles / I remembered in chaparrales / your verse, Pedro Sotillo. I was bitten by your simple bitterness / the thorn of your singing. Today I send you to greet / from the immense medanal / where is what I think, / when I start thinking “.   Carlos Maldonado-Bourgoin International Association of Art Critics AICA, Chapter Venezuela








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