The usual dynamic of transitory exhibitions in the Universal Art Building of the National Museum of Fine Arts seems to have been devoted to marbles since last November, as a material historically tethered to the artistic arena. On the Firth floor the exhibition Ofrendas of Dutch-Iraqi artist Athar Jaber interacts with the collection of Flemish painting by referring, through volumes of marble, to iconographic details of some of these paintings.
On the other hand, since November 29th, at the Fourth floor there is a fruitful dialogue between the traditional permanent exhibition of Greco-Roman art and the Marmor (Marble) exhibit of Michel Pérez Pollo, a young Cuban painter. An exhibition, which complements and revisits from the present, along the supremacy of a pictorial gesture, the antiquity and mastery of busts and portraits, carved in marble, stemming out from the entire hall.
El Pollo, as he is better known in the art circuit, and Niurka Fanego, an institution curator, committed to the artist’s premiere individual exhibition at this museum, had an awesome notion while displaying it detached from the Cuban Art Building; although it deals with a genuine exponent of our contemporary art. It happens that it was in this context of creative universality where the creator came across his own inspiration and appreciated the model, where the artwork unfolds itself and, in turn, enlivens the permanent collection.
From the sculptures and stone heads, El Pollo represents and enhances the rear portions. The back of these volumes now hyperbolized itself with the aesthetics that distinguish the two-dimensionality of his canvases, extolling the pictorial art along with the large formats of pieces and the relevance of the colored areas.
Michel then rejoices with the plastic expression that he upholds and is passionate about; while he grasps tight the old canon, flirts with it, and enriches its discursive possibilities in the new figuration. Likewise, from the naivety or without a specific character, the art pieces bring out the questioning to the secular paradigms of representation, which focus on the frontal perception of the image, thus synthesizing out there realism, expression and motion.
On the contrary, Michel turns the page, the rear portion, that being secondary and irrelevant; ignite curiosity on him, which by now has been placed on top at the hall museographic discourse. The paintings coexist with models and amaze while the heads’ rear portions are discovered, in a compositional foreground, over-dimensioned among the art pieces making up the Museum permanent collections.
However, artworks do not manifest a realistic vocation that seeks to identify them with one sculpture or another; rather they function as fractured, distorted or additive symbols in their forms. They function as capricious evocations of those Greco-Latin culture stone crafted molds, disguised with a related visuality, in some way, with mannequins with a weird nature, dehumanized, that proliferate in the metaphysical aesthetics of Giorgio De Chirico.
Therefore, the object-subject protagonist of these images is intervened by the artist in connection with other elements and resources standing out his work. The codes of the children’s universe, which have distinguished the representatives of the New Painting, are clearly depicted in his canvases and in the creative process that also has a room in the exhibition. Thus, small-scale and three-dimensional models created by the artist are on display at the temporary exhibition hall at that floor in the building. Thus, the modelling of play dough, clay and the addition of other materials are present on the stage prior to the materialization of art works, aesthetically mimicking the stop motion animation technique.
Marmor is therefore an opportunity to admire the beauty of the past with a look refurbished by the aesthetic and creative pleasure of a young Cuban artist. Michel Pérez Pollo then clings to painting as a universal language vast in explorations, also prone to humor, and to the riddles of art itself.