Just stop and look…

/ 1 March, 2017

May painting represent ideas, states of mind or actions as meditation, introspection, inner contemplation, the unblocking of the mind towards an unconscious flow of thought, the abstraction or evasion of all practical immediacy, the ascent to a level of intellection which transcends the sensorial stimulus and the learned experience? Focusing the subject from a philosophy of representation, these could be ideas or phenomenon whose exact, essential or adequate realization would be impossible to achieve from a medium as painting. Therefore, talking in a strictly Kantian sense, those constructs transform themselves for painting in “objects of the sublime”, that is, exceed the representational capacities of the medium and, consequently, escape to the cognitive ambition of art, at least in its pictorial form. Also, Hegel had pointed out that not every “phase of truth” is capable of finding a sensitive expression agreeing with its complexity, not every type of idea may be embodied in a “beautiful form”. That’s why the philosopher of the Absolute Spirit thought that art had its cognitive limits which are, in his opinion, the limits of the capacity of its means of representation.

However, it is known that art has constantly fought to widen its limits, to expand its dominions, to turn those “chimeras” in their own objects of representation. In this way, good part of avant-garde painting, as Lyotard pointed out, intended to challenge the ambit of the sublime, turning this purpose into a programmatic idea; and there is when the medium achieves something extraordinary trying to transcend its own limits representing what is impossible, what is un-representable: the time, the speed, the strength, the alienation, the unconscious, the multiplicity and perceptual simultaneity of what is physical, in a same level, and so on.

When we see the works of the young Cuban artist Kamilo Morales, we may experience that in his proposal this type of representational conflict exists. Struggling with what is not representable: that is the challenge animating his research and pictorial work. Kamilo declares to us in his statement, and in some of the titles of the series and works, the influx his creation has had of Eastern philosophy. Because of the use of terms as place, time, space, rocks, satori, Zen garden, meditation, contemplation and so on, it is inferable that his main visual and conceptual referents come from Zen Buddhism. But since 2014 to this time Kamilo has traveled a path, which is still brief, but that already lets to glimpse certain changes that make evident a derivation from the emulation or perceptual recreation of referents as the Zen garden, towards more abstract and undetermined compositions. In his exercise of pictorial introspection, without delay, Kamilo has taken the path to synthesis; he has been removing the codified load of what is figurative, of the evident referent, to derive in a gestural but controlled abstraction, geometrical as well as sensual, full of perceptual vibrations but contained and even moderate in color. (…)

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