When one walks through the halls of the National Museum of Fine Arts, Cuban Art building, a work stands out to the eye, one that inaugurates the space destined to the prodigious and admirable eighties. This is Hojarasca (Fallen leaves), an installation by Cuban artist José Manuel Fors, which warns about the changes that have occurred in the landscapes of the technological culture, and the close relationship between the natural and the artificial. Hojarasca was the beginning and it opened the way of what would be a successful artistic trajectory, also versatile, genuine, inspiring.
Today, after decades of incessant work, after prizes and recognitions, José Manuel Fors continues to develop a discourse of deep reflective and philosophical nuances, a discourse in which nature, man and memory, stand as irreplaceable epitomes. Installation is still a sedulous medium, always filled with small archaic details, found or consciously elaborated. Hence he finds elegance in the skeleton of an old parasol crouched by minute artifacts or makes columns of old documents and photos of landscapes or subjects probably nonexistent.
However, these days photography is his most effective weapon. Photography as accurate testimony to the event, the environment and its characters of life. In this manifestation we will find him resolved, but even in it an unquestionable installation vocation insinuates itself, which allows him to cut the image and arrange its pieces in concentric circles of small, medium or large formats. At other times he simply prefers to fragment the photographs and place them on a cardboard by means of threads or adhesives. He is a master of the lens not limited to the traditional procedures of the trade. He prefers to break its borders, to enrich them, to give them new expressive possibilities.
Thus runs the creative work of José Manuel Fors, an activity of a lifetime, imposing and authentic. Fascinated by objects and turned into a voracious collector, the author of Hojarasca still continues to reflect on the human nature-creation duality, not as an opposition, but as a harmonious and eternal balance. A universe of accumulated fragments remains a leit motiv in his creation. Fragments that become textures, colors, objects, photographs. Awarded this year with the National Prize for Plastic Arts, José Manuel Fors is undoubtedly one of the great names of contemporary Cuban art.