The regretted death of the great silversmith Damián Garrido has not brought the artistic path he had initiated during the last years of his production to a close. his son and daughter, Juan and Paloma, with the collaboration of the talented members of his workshop, have given fresh impetus to a prestigious firm that already enjoys international renown.
It is not easy to find such professional silversmiths in Spain, who seek innovation rather than satisfying themselves with repeating, more or less precisely, traditional works or styles that in my opinion lack validity in our day and age. of course this does not detract from their employing the manual skills and the technical procedures that perpetuate the ancient craft, instead of relying completely on mechanical means of production in which all sense of aesthetic creation is lost.
The new direction undertaken by the Garrido firm is characterised by a clearly functional catalogue of works, comprising candlesticks, jugs and vases, coffee sets, centrepieces, jardinières, trays and picture frames, among other types.Whatever the shape of these works, whether they be predominantly vertical or horizontal, they are all firmly consolidated. Other geometric structures are based on smooth surfaces that bestow an elegant formal purity to the designs. Most pieces present a combination of curved and straight lines, a feature that affects both their exterior surface and their interiors or rims.
The apparent regularity that stems from such strict geometric approaches is transformed and enhanced by the asymmetry that grants all the pieces a multiplicity of perspectives, playfully surprising users and beholders alike.This explains why one single view does not convey a true idea of the formal richness contained in each work.
In this context it is worthwhile to point out some of the new features materialising in recent pieces, such as the vertical undulating surfaces we find in one of the candlebra, or the different forms of presenting the two parts of a pair of candlesticks, which can appear separately or fitted together — sideways or superimposed — so that the two become one, or vice versa, thereby transforming even their original function.
So, many further developments are still to be expected from this line of research, and I am sure that other lines characterised by the same standards of innovation, modernism and beauty will appear in future Damian Garrido collections thanks to Paloma and Juan, who have proven to be worthy and respectful heirs to the master silversmith.
José Manuel Cruz Valdovinos
[Professor in Art History, Complutense University, Madrid]