Yoan CapoteIsla (ausencia), 2008
Oil, nails and hooks on canvas and plywood, 100 x 170 cm.
Ausencia (Absence) is a rough and brutal sea, a sea that is choppy, furious, foaming, hot, wretched. A sea abandoned to its own terrible solitude, turned against itself, immeasurable in its vastness, hostile, impassable. Ausencia is a sea of hooks, a sea that has stolen all the hooks of the universe for itself and placed them to float on its surface, turned them into a protective armor, an armor with sharp edges that dances with the same sinuosity water does, swirling and sending waves crashing against each other, so as to impede navigation through its dark and heavy waters.
For an island like Cuba, the sea is a metaphor of many things. Our first dwellers came through the sea and through the sea the European invasion arrived. The sea was always a space for transit, both to go abroad and to return. It is source of nourishment, of delicious white and pink meat, and its beaches are tourist paradises. Cubans swamped into the sea in any floating artifact seeking the other shore, that of development, of hope, pursuing the dream of a better life, just a better life. Facing the sea, people from Havana sit in the winding Malecón to live the night. Some turn their backs to the sea, while others stare at the horizon, there where they dreams start. Nevertheless, the sea is a hostile space for men, its chaotic force and vastness makes it immense to us and is the damned circumstance that delimits and isolates us. Seawater becomes the bars of the natural prison of this island that sails, attacked by hurricanes, without finding a safe port for the happiness and well-being of its inhabitants.
This work by Yoan Capote encompasses all the symbolic strength of everything that can fantasize, philosophy or fear when it comes to the sea. Everything in its inception connotes violence, danger, density, rebelliousness, arrogance, vastness, strength: from the thick color pastes and the austerity of its chromatic range, to the infinite swell of hooks. A virtuoso performance, undoubtedly, from an artist who has matured at the same rate, both in technical dexterity as in intellectual trade. The visual effects of this work turn out amazing. First, the pictorial baroque style with which the artist works the sky based on a copious superposition of pigments which create the textures of the clouds.The sea, a mixed up composition of hooks and pictorial matter: the black masses of hooks creating the optical illusion of being waves in movement and the greyish paste of painting resembling the foam produced by violent collisions. A sea that lures us like a magnet and when it manages to draw our glance onto itself, very close to the surface, terrifies us.
–Dr. Hamlet Fernández