Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cuba and the art galleries

Works from Angel Delgado are displayed at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in the Art District on Julia Street in New Orleans.

The artist brings us in the world of prisons and makes us feel close to its inhabitants. Used handkerchiefs or bedsheets become the canvas on which he prints digital photographs. On this background, the artist draws a silhouette in pencil wax and adds another dimension to the piece. These digital prints of chains, locks, watchtowers are all related to the prisoners universe.
As we look closer, each photograph tells a heartwrenching story.
The items used for the canvas, with very personal stains make me think of the Saints relics in churches, whiffs of smells reach me.
Is the silhouette the lonely prisoner? Is it the viewer?...Hard to know.

Delgado spent six months in jail after defecating on a copy of Granma, the communist paper. This is where he started using these very personal items. He also sculpted bar soaps. Whatever material he is using, the message stays focused on the prisons.

The experience of the artist, who is close to the subject, helps the viewer become a participant. It is hard not to get touched. The artist gives us a glimpse of the carceral universe, but the stains are not blood, they are nicotine , lipstick, and the photographs are colored, bright background for the silhouette.
photograph from the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery's website

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