In Nocturno, Juan Araujo’s depiction of a moonlit ocean before a night sky is immediately transfixing. Painted in subtle swaths of blue and black with the central foreground illuminated by the white reflection of the moon, this work immediately calls to mind the Nocturne series of James McNeill Whistler. In this small and beautifully restrained work, Araujo not only conveys the subtle effects of light, weather, and atmosphere. He also imbues it with great emotional intensity. Rendered with a lively lightness of touch, the sea is shown to be tumultuous and the sky brooding. This strong sense of the overwhelming power of nature and man’s reverence for it, directly links it to the 19th century Romantic movement and the likes of J.W. Turner himself.
© juan araujo, photo credit: stephen white