Comment by Antonio Zambrana

Antonio Zambrana Lara
Professor of Pictorial Creation
School of Fine Arts
University of Seville
March 2001, Seville

I met María José Aguilar some fifteen years ago, when she was completing her specialty in Painting studies at the Seville School of Fine Arts. She was my student and later I was the director for her Doctoral Thesis which led to us beginning a long artistic relationship and friendship.

I have to say that throughout this time, from the very beginning, her absolute dedication to her vocation has continued to influence and move her. She lives within Art and for Art with a rare passion.

Her enthusiasm for doing things well obliged her to impose a strict regime of self-discipline for years; not surrendering to difficulty or failure, far from other ambitions like fame, power, financial wellbeing… Her only ambition being to know how to create in an honest and responsible manner, dreaming of reaching absolute mastery in the execution of a work of art, so that she might be able to open wide the doors to feeling and imagination.

Comment about the painting, “Doubt” (La Duda)

María Pepa Parejo Delgado
Professor of Art History

The work, (lucky owner), is the result of that exquisite sensitivity personified by Vermeer in the way you work, polishing the masculine touch and lending the work such transparency and tenderness so characteristic of feminine sensitivity.

Profound and heartfelt reflection of the question we all have, whether once or several times during life and which is unfortunately not always resolved satisfactorily, and we wrap it in a crown of orange blossoms preventing our free spirit from always acting emotionally and rationally.

Comment about “Doubt” (La Duda)

Pablo Ferrand Augustin

Dear María José,

Congratulations on your new work. The painting is remarkable. Wonderful backlighting that filters in from the balcony and softly outlines the figure, illuminating her. Precious painting, intimate and warm.

It is truly life like. And that so very black outfit as a counterpoint. I congratulate you and thank you for these excellently written notes regarding the motive behind La Duda.   

See you soon and I send you a big hug,

Journalist and faithful guardian of the architectural heritage of Seville.



María Pepa Parejo Delgado
Professor of Art History

Since the beginning of the History of Art, painting has been an essential means of communication for the human race. In the words of Kevin Power, it is a network of communication and messages that require a recipient. In this respect, it contributes in a certain way to the “salvation of humanity.” It is the most expressive and intimate means of representing public opinion, the welfare of power groups, social marginalisation, freedom in nature, introspection and the most varied topics and human attitudes.

For this investigation we have selected the messages communicated by contemporary artists through visual creation, in other words those who continue to work in their studios, no matter the limited possibilities that we as women continue to have in society today in this, or other scientific fields. For them, every day is a challenge to make painting participate in the eternity of time and with the freedom of space. They are artists of different origins and backgrounds; some from the world of academics and others self-taught. All that they have in common is the use of painting as a means to express their concerns, either directly or through the subtle play of metaphor.

Comment about “Doubt” (La Duda)

Mar Alonso 

Before I continue any further María José, I would like to say that you are always in my thoughts. Sometimes because I cannot find time in my busy schedule, and sometimes because I am afraid to bother you, but in the end we never see each other. And you have no idea how much sadness this brings me!

What can I say about your new wonder! Firstly, that your loyalty to me in allowing me the privilege of seeing your work before many others touches me deeply. My dear, this says a lot about you. As far as your new painting, I do not know if I will use the most appropriate terms to define it, but I am going to try. I think that it reflects all of the sweetness and warmth that you emanate simply from being who you are. And that, in spite of it being a “doubt”, it also communicates the serenity that I know you feel simply through the act of painting. Perhaps the details cannot be properly appreciated in a picture on the internet, but even with just that, my jaw dropped. How well you have created the morning light that enters abruptly when we open up the balcony of a room. How it suddenly parts the darkness and tries to seep in past all obstacles, in this case the bride. Or the small details of how the material hangs from the table. And what can I say about that wonderful lace dress! The magnificent flooring that gives me an idea of how beautiful the house you were raised in was. In “La Duda,” you show us splendid attention to detail.

Letter from Juan Valdés

Juan Valdés 
Professor of Color Theory
Seville, October 2009

Being an accomplice to your pictorial dreams is a great pleasure for me. Being a recipient of your artistic ideas and your longing to achieve that unreachable Utopian goal, the perfection of a job well done; to find the closest approximation between what is dreamed and its realization in that struggle with oneself and in the struggle in which all of us who are dedicated to achieving the development of an unattainable dream are united, to convert this dream into different artistic concepts, in the development of oneiric imaginings and visual creations expressed with a brush. The ability to retain a moment from that dream, this is a GIFT that we receive FROM GOD. It is so selective, precious, and precise that we treasure it as we use it in our daily work.

It is impossible for us to share it with anything or anyone, above all to argue the idea that comes to us, its maturation, its development, its complications and at times its masochistic development. What a struggle we have ahead with ourselves and with the painting! Such morbid masochism between suffering from the obstacles that come up and the difficulties that they create for us! But, those intimate moments bring such joy and selfish pleasure!

María José Aguilar

María José Aguilar is born in 1964 in the city of Seville, Spain.

From her earliest age she demonstrates artistic inclination and abilities.

She grow up admiring great masters of the History of Painting, especially the Spanish Baroque painters like Murillo, Velázquez, Zurbarán, Valdés Leal ... those that would have a first and great influence on her.

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María José Aguilar Gutiérrez 

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