Federico Cuesta's "Eternal Guests"
Opening reception: Friday, May 14th at 8pm
Ico Gallery is honored to announce "Eternal Guests," an exhibition of the works of Federico Cuesta, running through the month of May. "Guests" is a surrealist show that focuses on Cuesta's interest in the natural state of the environment and its eventual decay. This has roots in both the history of surrealist painting, as artists like Dali were obsessed with death and decay, as well as contemporary politics, as the main political challenge of our time is the environment and the destruction we've wrought in our quest to predict and control the world. These themes and this history plays out in Cuesta's works.
Beginning his artistic career in 1965, the Cuban-born Cuesta started in the landscape genre, and his current work still carries the marks of his early interests. While surreal and non-representational, his paintings still have a distinct familiarity that draws the viewer in. Flowing shapes mesh and weave together to create alien Earths, a mix of Hieronymus Bosch's hellish landscapes and the beautifully weird visions of 1970s avant-garde science-fiction.
The environmental lesson in Cuesta's works comes from the overabundance of life – the swirling, flowing masses mentioned above – depicted in his paintings. Life that grows uncontrollably is cancer, and there is a certain uncontrolled unwieldiness to his works. Lands growing with cancerous abandon until they take over everything, ultimately draining the life from all. Human shapes morph in and out of his works, and what is striking is the massiveness of the growth. Looking at Cuesta's art, the question for us is, of course, with everything we've done to the environment, have we set in motion an uncontrollable process that will eventually suffocate us all?
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