Rubén alpizar

Crónicas del paraíso

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Rubén Alpízar (Santiago de Cuba, 1965) is an artist with an academic background who displays an admirable mastery of the painting technique. The postmodern dimension that encompasses his work can be recognised in the sharp intertextuality that can be seen invariably in his creations. The playful, demystifying nature of his work recycles and refers to the history of art itself, as a constant revisiting process with a New Historicist aura.

The review of his creative body itself, as a self-reference, reveals the questioning and the individual reflection of the artist being a part of the different contexts and vital spaces. His adoption of icons and images which have become symbols and are part of the cultural collective imagination is a constant of his creative world as well as the mocking, festive treatment given to the phenomena and the relationships that characterise the universal contemporary culture.

As in a painting by Vermeer, Alpízar becomes an intruder in the scene, capturing all the references that underpin the story he has thought up in his canvas, yet unlike the Dutch painter, he pays no attention to the diachrony of the periods or styles borrowed. It is more feasible for him to focus on the depiction of the characters in their original context so that he can burst into their recontextualisation with new communicative functions, not only at particular levels but also apropos the interconnections with the remaining references.

In his previous personal exhibition La Habitación del Simulacro [The Simulation Room], presented at Galería Villa Manuela in La Habana, he tried to play with the stories that converged in its picture windows and with the gallery space that held them itself, addressing the issue of the superiority of mental limits over actual physical limits. Somehow, this exhibition, which is his first solo exhibition in Spain, follows up on his previous work, where the present is praised and both the arsenal of unfulfilled dreams and the continuous desire of perpetuating nostalgia and frustration are perceived as a paradise behind a touch of humour, which is, in essence, what turns the experiences of his environment into a surrealist chronicle, full of wit and perspicacy.

With his over 50 exhibitions around the world, his relevant participation in international art fairs, his important curriculum at the best fine art auctions and his special critical acclaim, Alpízar has created an ideoaesthetical style that is recognisable, yet impossible to predict.

Claudia Taboada

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