Art calms the tired spirit

I arrived at the Hermanos Saíz Association under one of the May downpours that pour down on the city of Pinar del Río. My mind was busy with many issues, weakened by an intense day.
Then, I noticed the exhibition “Resplendent Bodies” that for a few weeks has been open to the public in the gallery room of the aforementioned institution.
I experienced a bath of renewal for the senses, and not because May had rained on me, but because art undoubtedly soothes the tired spirit.
The true visual appeal of the exhibition does not lie in the selected format, nor in the approach to the female nude. It lives in the invoice of the canvases: in the rigorous “naturalism” of the image.
Víctor Manuel Guerra Arteaga, the artist, does not particularize in the background of the compositions (in most of the canvases), only in the bodies in poses; which refers the unconscious to the work of studies practiced in art academies. But it is clear that this is the intention of the artist.
I want to highlight, in addition to the invoice, two elements. The first is the expression of the hands of the characters. No position is repeated and each one is a work of art in itself. They have their own voice and provide the symbolic component, which at first glance would seem to be missing.

The second is the defense of the portrait. A (somewhat) depressed subject within contemporary art, to which the artist has dedicated four of the ten exhibited canvases. On this occasion, the portraits reveal the personality of the protagonists and bite the curiosity of the viewer.
As a result, “Resplendent Bodies” relieved my exhaustion. I no longer cared how soaked I was. I spent a good time in front of the images, admiring their tones, shadows and lights.

Yanetsy Ariste, art critic, writer and journalist.
                                                                                       May 2018 (Guerrillero newspaper)

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