Segundo Planes, 33 Years

The Imprint of a Phase

/ 1 December, 2018

When I accepted to write this review for the book 2do 33 años/ Segundo Planes (Pinar del Río, Cuba, 1965)(…) I had no knowledge of (…) the book as the object as such. When leafing through it –stunned-, my impressions flowed with absolute spontaneity, and I didn’t get worried -because of what they say about being judge and party- since I form part of the battery of writers. (…)

I start off satisfied, calling attention to the fact that in the takeoff of the 21st century we are at last having author books (monographs) and about complete periods of our visual arts -as never before, in different languages- (…)

This edition devoted to Segundo (…) surprises us for its size which allows for reproductions of great fidelity that are almost frequently fragments in their original size, a selection of images that are a faithful reflection of the coherence of the discourse and the production of the artist, even when it reviews different stages. Moreover, the design is able to capture the spirit of a work that has always cultivated pictorial poetics, with a narrative associated since its beginning to literature, to philosophy (…)

In addition, the design very skillfully evokes the elegance, brilliance and format (19 ⅛ x 13 ⅛ inches) of old children’s storybooks—the clear Bodoni large-size typography is appreciated—underlining along the way the graphic and illustrative conditions of Segundo’s work (…)

Another wise move is the prologue by Corina Matamoros, whose wealth and simplicity, as I understand, is based on a general definition of the creator and his paintings (…)

Novelist Wendy Guerra—that poet-writer or writer-poet—who grew up among our paintings also with a spirit of a painter,approaches Segundo—a poet of color and of the painted word —with love and poetry, which in no way distances Wendy from the sound intellectual analysis (…). Wendy leaves nothing out: “The exodus, the diaspora, the rupture, the demons, the use of memory as a palliative for balance, all that forms part of a later topic,” she defines, “where the pain drains and the tension of the adagio rises.” The word is written through spelling and gestures, and now when the barriers between the arts have already fallen, it is opportune for Wendy to remind us, quoting Foucault, that there is no word that essentially belongs to literature because of nature’s right.

The last section of the book contains an interview by Margarito Cuellar with Segundo, where he tells how he met him 12 years ago at a party: “he had an aura of an acclaimed painter and once in a while he was greeted between strident laughter and jokes (…). A focus, that of Cuellar, that without diminishing the character’s charm, specifies the genuine profile and traits of the interviewee, skillfully extracting step by step the real experiences, the voids, the dark and light spots, in the life of this Cuban who finds in Mexico a continuous return to the island mounted on his canvases.

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