There is no naive art. Undoubtedly, the artist assumes infinite roles in the embodiment of concepts and artistic forms. The apparent ingenuity could be one of the possible positions when it comes to interpretative splitting. Then comes the richest way of the artistic reality: its subliminal, subversive and reflective relation with its environment. The ideological romp with certain social structures does not escape such intentions. In fact, these structures are one of the key points of the artist when he fixates in understanding the medium. One could say there is an artistic complexity that has its genesis in the combination of art with other socio-psychological disciplines.
José Emilio Fuentes Fonseca (JEFF) gives contemporary Cuban art one of the happiest views in the complexity of art when it encounters other spheres of human thought. In his works lies a sharp psychological chronology of the child who becomes an artist. Such a chronology cannot, and should not, escape a series of nightmares that enrich the conformation of a universe buried under layers of dead days. The permanence of the infant’s imaginary in the production of this child-artist/artist-adult/adult-child (we will never know the exact composition), makes the work of JEFF an exquisite children’s album that evades congested happiness to make evident, in the adversity inherent to ingenuity, the true human growth.
The aesthetic resources cannot be other than those that derive from a venomous nostalgic act. They show up in his assemblies and sculptures; per example, the povera visuality that starts from the incorporation of the most dissimilar objects and materials found in his path: plastic, bottle caps, wood, disdained objects. Sort of artifacts that make up puppets, “toys” that proclaim stages of life diminished by childhood and hardship. This visual approach of JEFF suggests a type of aesthetic preciousness: the material as a romantic and bucolic element. However, the artist intuits that under that seemingly childish trance essential to his pieces, there is much unraveling of a not only personal story, but a much wider one that embraces the collective memory of a whole country.
JEFF well knows that, at first, every naive act comprises a strictly happy world view, in the end an instinctive act of what we should be in or for the world. Then, to be good like “ingenuous” children, would be the natural order of our existence; much so like art in its purest and most impetuous form. However, the artist understands that there is no way to maintain the purity things over time. After all, its contamination or mutation, being illogical or unnatural might be our configuration by default.