Douglas Pérez’ (Villa Clara, 1972) painting today draws inspiration from the memory of some maddening vision and formulates a criticism about how the future may look. He makes use of city dynamics to create this energy; of course the hero of every one of his stories is Havana.
His series Vedado and Pictopía surpass the temporal to become authentic processes by which the artist elaborates profound reflections about origins and fate.
Vedado expresses powerful domestic tendencies. The exquisite minimalism concentrates on reconstructing an extensive complicated story on the basis of intertwined attitudes and customs. These images multiply and create what may be called the “density of the tale”.
Using humour, Pérez delves into the internal workings of one of the most important Havana neighborhoods where for almost fifty years many of the events in every sphere have been occurring and influencing Cuba. The triumph of the Cuban Revolution impacted on this well-structured district in terms of its specific habits. From one piece to the next, a unique kind of anthropology takes place, spying upon the reorganization of life and the resistance of structures when faced with an unexpected present.
What has survived this long period of mutations? This question generates a metaphoric sense in the pictorial investigation taking place here, and after we have spent some time with the works we are left with the impression of having taken part in a cartoon strip. The images are expressed via two levels that confront each other and provide feedback for each other. In the foreground is the world of advertisements that nourishes an ambience of dreams and behind it all is the voice of the people in an underground world that scoffs at the stars; graffiti expresses the violence of everything left on the fringes.
Vedado maintains the power of the ambiguous which hides in the interplay of its meanings. It evokes the forbidden which is desired and seduces us with its intensity. A touch of disease, irreverent traces that suggest cynical and pitiless sexuality contrasting with middle class morality submerged in its behavioral patterns.
For Douglas Pérez, Pictopía is much more than a series. I would venture to say that it could be considered to be a large field of movement connected at the same time to a multitude of roots. Access routes jam-packed with inanimate matter that can only acquire meanings after some severe thinking. Surreal hybrids that are able to destroy normality and suggest solutions for minds that have been blocked by repeating the same slogans for decades.
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