Goya’s Stories – Doron Golan

Goya’s Stories (2006, 26.4MB, 3:38 min)

Three Goya paintings – La Maja Desnuda (Nude Maja), El Rey Carlos
Cazador (King Carlos dressed as a hunter) and Autorretrato (Self-portrait) –
are brought to life by three present-day stand-ins. The beauty of the piece is
that none of the three people from the present day is an obvious
equivalent for the painting alongside which he or she is placed.
The least satisfactory of the three is the Maja. Goya’s nude is both
more blatantly sexual and less conventionally glamorous than the
equivalent we are given here. On the other hand the Carlos and
the Autorretrato – respectively a a wild-haired gaunt ceramicist
fingering a three-cornered pot, and an imposingly fat middle-aged
man half-naked at the seaside – do replicate the powerful combination
of individual character and human fallibility which comes across from
the Goya originals.

Edward Picot

Doron Golan has constructed contemporary stories from Goya
paintings, using people whose resemblance to Goya’s subjects is
One need not be familiar with the masterworks themselves to enjoy the
whimsical – at times, poignant – real life portraits constructed from
the paintings. Michael Szpakowski’s music intensifies the mood and detail of
Golan’s video. Like ekphrastic poetry, the video and music carry viewers into a
deeper exploration both of the paintings and the stories spun from

Martha Deed