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Naïvy

Maximillian William, London; 2020

Capitán has produced a range of new paintings, large-scale photographs, and artist-embellished found objects, expanding upon the visual possibilities that open up to the artist through contemplation of an iconic form of apparel: the sailor suit. Attracted by the possibilities evoked by the prospect of journeys on the high seas while repelled by the groupthink that military escapades demand, Capitán signals this ambiguity by coveting only half of the uniform. In Something Deeper Baths Ltd. (In Search For) (2019) the navy-blue middy blouse accented with white piping floats around the birdlike frame of a half-clothed woman sinking into her bathwater. The bird’s-eye view we are afforded of her closed eyes and waterlogged form departs startlingly from the conventional ways in which painting invites us to behold the female body from a place of comfortable, omniscient invisibility; here, we are instead thrust into the role of search-and-rescue.

Capitán takes the sea and its attendant themes of adventure and isolation as a framework through which to reimagine the nude in a series of C-prints produced at a grand scale. In Swimming Pool in a Boat, Caribbean (2020) two cherubic children with faces obscured by damp, salty curls huddle around and within a tiny tub at the precipice between the vessel and the vast blue sea, improbably evoking innocence in an era that seems quite devoid of it. A New Kind of Freedom, Sweden (2019) conjures the rush of self-determination that comes with young adulthood in the form of a beautiful youth of indeterminate gender, crashing belly-first into a body of dark water. What appears to be twin red welts marking the buttocks raises the question of what system of discipline and punishment this seafarer may be fleeing, taking to the water to begin again without so much as a stitch of clothing to bind them to these past regimes.

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M Le Monde: La Mode