Affable visions of an allegedly murky territory alert us: it is circumspect life. Organic and profuse, is the look given by Manuel Mendive, just like the water that tie our throats in these lands. Nothing is gentler than his noble and anonymous beings, his fresh backwaters of spiritual privileges, his bundles of herbs, his immaterial presences, his ghosts and gods. No fear, says his artistic efforts.
Invisible things, not because of stranger, become terrible. The epic character of Mendive’s oeuvre lies exactly in awarding the noble title of natural to the most unexpected spiritual manifestations. It is a fantastic imagery, which sustains one of the strongest figurative proposals of contemporary art, as well as a very particular worldview. His is a reinterpretation of the universe where the sensibility is patented as an absolute and unredeemed kingdom.
Nothing retains its conventional status within the figurative proposal of this master of Cuban visual arts. His mark of excellence lies in the figurative-expressive symbiosis he uses to build his concepts. Life takes on other senses, away from the immediacy, and it acclimatizes to the roars of the Earth. Water flows indifferent, capricious, shadow thicken and light crystallizes. Everything is then determined in a mortar of pure hues. A continent of absolute clarity, a fertile land, a flow of energies in constant motion; in Mendive’s artistic proposal everything tends to perfection and balance as supreme law.
Artistic and formally, his visual universe seems to be designed under the ordinances of Alejo Carpentier’s real-wonderful concept. A baroque sense, tending to the profusion and the horror vacui reigns in his canvases. From their frames, every space seems a surface pregnant and vast; the Island is felt everlasting and glorious, unwavering and virginal. It is the imperishable realm of the tropical subterfuges, its noble caste, its spurious Olympus.