"Lights" to living cuban art

Lights, first exhibition in Maxima Gallery-Studio
The opening of Maxima Gallery-Studio with the exhibition Lights, during the Havana Biennal.
With the necessary impulse to inaugurate a new space for contemporary Cuban art, Maxima Gallery-Studio has had its headquarters in Havana's Historic Center since April 11, 2019. Located at 261 Tejadillo Street between Monserrate and Villegas (one side of the National Museum of Fine Arts), the first exhibition "Lights", open to the public since June 11, presents a singular poetics in terms of forms and styles when approaching the creative process.
 
Five gifted artists with a promising career, Rafael Villares, Juan Suarez Blanco, Jorge Lopez Pardo, Douglas Perez Castro and Irving Vera, arrive with different formats and nuances to immerse us in an infinite journey, the result: Paths with great visual power and empathic strength.
 
Pérez Castro creates an alienated reality. He paints the capital as if it came from another world. The roads are other, the lights and even the colors, but its essence is maintained because the name Havana, carries in itself numerous attributes inseparable from its condition of city. The banana, a fruit demanded by Habaneros and Cubans, would maintain its mission: to be the sweet aperitif, almost obligatory, in lunches and meals. To a great extent this truth reminds us of Antonio Eligio Tonel, when he said that the banana should be the national fruit. 
 
Very different is The City of Opportunities, also by Pérez Castro, who presents another dystopian reality applicable to any city. The work largely questions order and concepts, the meaning of evolution, but even more importantly it raises a powerful question: What if we got to that point? What would be the result?
 
For his part, Juan Suárez Blanco is peaceful, unalterable. He prefers the mixed technique to give us three of his pieces Erosion No 2, 3 and 4, where it is possible to notice his privileged hand to combine materials and offer an exquisite work in large dimensions. The human eye always looks for beauty and the artist is the bearer of it.
 
Irving Vera proposes a variety of graphic gestures. "In this bet of his of conceptual lineage -explains the curator of the exhibition, Caridad Blanco- the text is a catalyst of senses, his lyricism touches the spectator in a suggestive way, from a sensibility that looks for those images capable today of making us vibrate".
 
Meanwhile, Jorge López Pardo appropriates the colours black and white in a mysterious context. There is much silence and peace in his work. In graphite on canvas he takes us back to times past, when the light of the lighthouse announced the end of life in the sea.  The artist maintains a certain distance and lets his piece reveal it in its most heterogeneous dimensions. His work is exquisite, refined and, above all, it awakens the desire to immerse oneself in the paths he proposes, in search of stillness and relief. It is easier to breathe next to art.
 
Finally, Rafael Villares seduces from the very entrance of Maxima Gallery-Studio. He leaves traces of identity when he paints roots that grow and amplify in the exhibition hall. If we stop at its evolution, the concern for the environment has been leitmotiv in his career.
 
It is an intention "that is discovered in the intervention of spaces, installations, objects, drawings, paintings and photographs that go beyond simple contemplation, appealing to the sensorial and generating new and multiple connections and possibilities", assures Caridad Blanco.
 
In this way Maxima Gallery-Studio is inserted, from 2019, in the circuit of contemporary Cuban art with a modern and comprehensive discourse. If popular knowledge dictates that all roads lead to Rome, at some point they will also lead you to Máxima.