Miguel Alejandro

A Demiurg

(…) to create the plausible and the allegorical in a painting, a real motivation is necessary.

Miguel Alejandro

Miguel Alejandro is a kind of demiurge. He has created a small universe of creatures that belong to certain legends, myths or simply stories that intertwine, fables that are rewritten, heroes and gods of Ancient Greece that are depicted from a certain longing, fairy tales and literary moments that refer to a novel or period of time.

 

It is remarkable that Miguel’s intertextual games start with the appropriation of these references, he overlaps them in layers and brings about a detachment and an exchange of elements that at times turns them into completely unknown entities.

 

 

We might say that it is he himself who has created his own myths and his literature and does not enter the field of fictions that may be delusional or untimely for a creator of the contemporaneous artistic scene, since in his chimerical territories there is an allusive connection that starts from a mix and a revaluation of these texts, images or symbols that are the originators of a certain cultural tradition.

 

In fact his characters may be related to Thessaly’s centaurs, his swans to Andersen’s stories, or his hybrids with women’s bodies and legs of jellyfish, seated on a typical caffeé in Paris or in any other European city of the mid twentieth century to stories of a parallel reality.

 

Each layer of colour is intertwined with each other to create puzzling veilings, textures and backgrounds where at times new faces may be discovered, thus activating a game of appearances, of entities and strange creatures crouching in the shadows or mutating into an unnamed corporeality in that confluence of colour and light. 

Whoever approaches these paintings must do so with the patience of he who goes through a catalogue of ancient heroes, an encyclopedia that describes a hidden world for the common visitors or the calmness of a spectator who starts defining faces and chests in the darkness, after a momentary blindness.

For Miguel, the fact of painting did not mean joining a path already started or feeling embarrassed at his contemporaries, after the wave of new paintings that started as a response to a  whole new praxis on the island (Cuba) in plastic arts, that made sense form a relationship with social and political life. He took refuge in his style of mixing tones on a canvas and started creating a parallel universe with few forerunners in the contemporary scene.

His series Impulso Apolíneo, almost infinite, was a kind of class and consisted of painting apples, using painting styles and paradigms that have been developed in western art. But his works were not a cold use of a technique, they arose from his sense of reclusion, where his model, the image on a box of apple juice, was his main trigger and the sentimental relationship (null) that enabled him to accomplish various subjective states and to move between different forms of painting.

The magical mastering of painting arose from that reclusion, but also form a decantation process where he appropriated a spectrum of painting techniques that  move within a broad register between the academic and the avant-garde. In Miguel, once again, this attitude is seen as prevalent. He moved back to what used to be a tradition, a process of decontraction and desacralization of the ideal of reality, to appropriate that which abstractionists tried to take distance from: the reference.

If for ages the biblical and mythological passages were topics within the western artistic tradition and started declining with the arrival of modernism as a cultural process, in Miguel there is a need to narrate by means of planimetric images. Other contemporaries of Miguel would have chosen the time image, but he prefers the static image and his gift for synthesis, his way of suggesting events and stories that the spectator must unlock by himself. There is in Miguel this certainty of poetry that gathers his listeners around a fire.

If we had to position Miguel in a given generation or within a given group, we might say that he belongs to those who cannot do without literature as a starting point for other fields. He has this lyrical desire, a certain onirism and an intimacy that has nothing to do with the apathy before a state of things, but that may be the reason for them.

At the beginning, each series was preceded by an allegorical narrative. Short stories with a strong symbolic load that appear as visions. What Miguel registers in his paintings is a certain moment of climax within those stories, the highest point, not only because of its importance within the narrative, but for the intensity of its connotations. 

However, in some of his series, Miguel tries to illustrate scenes as sequences. They are completed and intertwined with each other during some creative periods, thus creating those parallel Worlds of spaces. In each exhibition Miguel has managed to give each of his characters a main role, he takes them out from those twilights where they were confined to in other pictures, in other stories, thus articulating a larger cycle, a new and broad field of possibilities for the creation of stories. 

By Andrés Alvarez

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