The masterpiece collection
Sergio Martinez’s dream work brewing in his mind was capturing a theater situation in an old palace in Spain with actors and actresses, and the IBEX Collection gave him the wherewithal and impetus to set everything else aside and turn this dream into a marvelous reality. Then came his Masterpiece, The Portrait of Desire.
Sergio loves the performing arts, whether dance or drama, but especially cabaret, and it shows in his IBEX Masterpiece. The models—his friends in fact—were happy to get together for a joyful and carefree photo shooting day.
The decadent, cabaret-esque scene amusingly depicts group dynamics and power imbalances in a group of characters that are, quite certainly, one-of-a-kind. There is clearly more female power than male power present here, in playful harmony. The scene delights the viewer with its exquisite rendering of physical detail but above all, the pervasive softness. Of the light, the carpet, the curtains, and the overall atmosphere, down to the fluffy cat. A softness, gentleness with a firm core, for it is tangibly rooted in confidence, self-acceptance and tolerance. Why is this different normalcy such a rarity in our world?
“Over the years, I had developed a cabaret aesthetic in my works and I had no doubt these experiences would allow me to set a solid scene. Yet, my ambition with this piece was high and the technical challenge was great. I was constantly thinking about the meaning of each character and its significance compared to the others. My requirements of visual consistency forced me to make many changes during the painting process, until the very end.”