The painting "You Walk the Threshold of Death", from 1963 (title taken from a poem by Quevedo), is a very representative work of a time in my life I was searching for a new kind of painting as an alternative to my Informalist period. It was a fundamental stage in my formation as an avant-garde artist, seeking to evolve and update my message, and not fall into an academization of an Informalist painting, that was born, above all, as an expression of freedom.
My new search focused on images coming to us through the media, where man was the protagonist. It was a more accessible kind of painting, with themes that reflected an unjust society that some of us wanted to change. It was not a return to figuration, but the invention of a new reality, an expression of a collective struggle.
The assassination of John F. Kennedy was one of the most shocking news of the time, which I needed to capture as a theme to give way to my grief for the tragedy, while giving content to my new pictorial work. I had spent some time in the United States, and I regarded Kennedy as the leader of a new way of thinking and acting, which gave me the impetus to visualize that moment of intense gravity.
Next to the image of Kennedy, who looks at us from the surface of the painting, there are other scenes that were part of his program, and his thoughts: the Space Adventure, and a group of guerrilla fighters that reference his involvement in Cuba.
These were salient elements of the life of the President, but here they become visual symbols that turned the pictorial surface into a painting, as well as a document of an historical event.
Madrid, Finarte Spain, El Paso, Review of the El Paso group on its fortieth anniversary, April 22 - May 14 1997, traveling to London, Finarte, SA and Milan (Italy), Finarte Casa d'Aste SpA
Bilbao, Exhibition Hall BBK, El Paso, Forty Years, 1997
Arnaiz, José Manuel and Rivera Navarro, Marisa, El Paso. Review of the El Paso Group on its Fortieth Anniversary, Madrid, Finarte, 1997 (Colour reproduction p. 11, with mixed media on canvas) (exh. Cat.)