Battalion heading nowhere

/ 1 June, 2016

Alejandro Gómez Cangas (Villa Clara, 1986) likes to set abstract concepts on his canvases. He knows that abstract and figurative, hyper-reality and fiction or multitude and individual, are diffuse dualities, which precisely exist to break its boundaries. That is why his work has evolved towards semantic ambiguity, drawing new limits to what we understand as social subject.

First of all, the way in which the artist makes an anthropological research through photographic documentation caught attention, and later will be the point of departure for great agglomerations of persons lying on his pieces; subjects marching to an unknown direction as part of an infantry which sustains its goal on the traced path itself. Also seduces the conceptual scoop lying in the denotative nature of his Concreciones (Concretions) and Composiciones (Compositions), and finally reaches the naturalism of the image, inheritor of the best pictorial tradition and part of a process where examining multitudes becomes not only a considerable corpus but also a personal obsession.

Since the end of his academic training, Cangas assimilated the surrounding panorama, perhaps a sign of his early social conscience, and devoted himself to translate it into a work that until today shows positive symptoms of evolution. Although his work focuses the individual in the daily context, where the mass becomes an anonymous procession and an emaciated metaphor of the frustration of an entire people, those groups of automatons have experienced obvious variations in his works. In a first moment, those multitudes seemed blurred, almost far-off, losing themselves in the common non-identity and, little by little, the characters have been personalizing until reaching the concept we today appreciate: a march imitating the infantry of an unnamable army, with overwhelming realism and up-to-date importance.

In this path, the pieces make us notice the pain, impoverishment and general trauma, but also particularize the psychology of the characters. The artist stops on their faces and scrutinizes what is peculiar and anodyne in the body-language, a fact that will necessarily take him to portrait in some works. (…)

Where do we go and from where we come are two wellknown questions which apparently would not find an answer in Alejandro Gómez Cangas’s work. The fact that the most recent creation denies the past in the intention of being violent, destructive and exquisite has stopped being a secret, while setting on the promise of futurity. It is peculiar to find a proposal articulating its temporary frames around the present, but it not only has to do with the “now” we experience, but with the present as temporal postponement, enrooted on the precepts of a past embracing all the areas of daily life. The future, then, symbolizes the waiting, the yearning for what is unknown or the hope of some change for these beings going towards nowhere. Thus, the work of the young artist proves prospective. Only on this way those existential questionings find an answer.

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