Ariel Cabrera Montejo | New Works
February 9 2019 - April 2019
The exhibition is accompanied by the publication of a catalogue
with a critical essay by Chiara Ianeselli and poems by Richard
Milazzo inspired by the works of Ariel Cabrera Montejo.
ARIEL CABRERA MONTEJO - NEW WORKS
On Saturday 9 February 2019, at 18.30, Galleria Mazzoli presents the first solo show in Europe of the young
Cuban artist Ariel Cabrera Montejo. The exhibition is composed of a selection of works made in 2018 and 2019.
Cabrera’s pictorial research contemplates historical moments and scenes from very different contexts in time and space.
Images from the history of his country are overlaid on contemporary settings and generic episodes. The scenes constructed with multiple
planes and perspectives, create juxtapositions that trigger dialogue between various events, in which we see an interweaving of violence,
sarcasm, amusement and eroticism.
“Although I have never made reference to a historical event in particular, my painting proposes the theme of
the historical as mise-en-scène, mixed, multi-temporal scenarios. For example, the role that photography has
played in graphic art, journalism, advertising, in the historical relations between Cuba and the United States,
specifically in the processes of formation of Cuba as a nation” (from the catalogue of the exhibition, with a
conversation between Chiara Ianeselli and the artist).
In the series Primary Scenes, as in the watercolors of the cycle La Tregua Fecunda, Cabrera depicts soldiers,
war heroes or patriots from Cuban colonial paintings, with a style that references traditional 19th-century
illustrations but at the same time evolves into a voyeuristic gaze typical of contemporary media. Critical
and sarcastic in the narration of his country, the artist uses the erotic aspect of existence as a natural
continuum of the violence unleashed by war.
In other works, with a focus on the world of entertainment, we see theaters, cinemas, stages, seating areas with
spectators, circus performers; ordinary people mingle with 19th-century guards, revolutionaries, slaves. The
theme of the voyeur resurfaces, of looking and being looked at, but as a logic of control and censorship, in a
game of multiple planes and perspectives.
In the Wet Campaign series the artist creates an impossible reality, disorienting on a temporal level, perhaps
dystopian but serene. In these works – also not immune to erotic overtones – the characters float in space as
in a Baroque fresco, but they are immersed in water like fish in some improbable aquarium.
Thanks to his atemporal, kaleidoscopic approach, in spite of clear technical references to great masters of
the past the painting of the young Cuban artist achieves a fresh, very personal style that takes concrete
form in works of a wide range of sizes, from small watercolors to large works in oil on canvas.
Ariel Cabrera Montejo - Trick or Treat
with a text by Chiara Ianeselli and poems by Richard Milazzo
Galleria Mazzoli Editore