|Even if they share themes of Japanese prints « Shunga », Pedro Uhart’s « Visions » are not so much erotic scenes as pictorial meditations about the flesh. The painter has chosen not to show the coarse reality of lovemaking and the flesh is hardly visible - unlike the Japanese displays of proudly erected rods and flower-like vulvas.
Intertwined shimmering shapes, layers of clothes that reveal the bodies as much as few glimpses of real nudity, a sophisticated and codified « mise-en-scène » typical of Japanese art. A conventional background that seems to be ogling the scene – these contribute to uncover the true nature of flesh: flesh is a mask.
Skin is cloth, attire is skin. The landscape is a screen, the screen is a landscape. Flesh can only be glimpsed through folds and layers that cover and shape.
The fascinating erotic power of the mask does not consist in hiding something, a figure or an artefact that could put an end to desire. From the mask-like faces of the lovers to the flowering cherry-tree, the ineluctable river, the snow-capped volcano, and the cosmic sky.
Pedro Uhart may be pre-Columbian in his range of colours and tints, in the way he uses thick black lines to define spaces, but it is in Japan that he found true masters of ceremony who equate form and content and who have inspired him.
That is why his « Japanese Visions », are as powerful as icons.