Alexis Esquivel (Pinar del Río, Cuba, 1968) lives of “joining information”, gathering data that he examines and composes carefully. The device generates a new speech with the pieces that he is able to connect. Although this practice is defined in the language of an engineer, in general it is the philosophy of life: we act according to suppositions defined by previous events. Esquivel’s work is precisely there, in the center of his circumstances, giving origin to a new refined comic that comes to hatch the so called History Painting, as one of the grand kinds of academic painting.
Memorial Garden is the most recent Alexis Esquivel’s exhibition in Domus Artium2002, Salamanca, traveling exhibition shown before at the Atlantic Center of Modern Art, Las Palmas (February-May 2014), which brings together works produced in the last five years, from painting to video. This his first exhibition in Salamanca, where he lives and works for ten years now, was opened on February 20th and in the halls of the old jail until next May 17th. With more mimetic or factual proposal, Alexis Esquivel constantly revisits the most consulted media, from which the reasons for his interest emerge almost with the immediacy of news. This Cuban artist concerns extend on the country’s geographical borders, so that they reveal what a Cuban in Salamanca is concerned.
His view from the History painting at Memorial Garden reveals an interest in dissecting the reality showed by media on political events in the world and on the other hand, he keeps a bond that ties him to his Cuban citizenship, as an artist part of a diaspora identified by a strong sense of nationhood. This consanguinity bond, not exclusive at all, expresses both a plural, open, immeasurable projection, considering that international events are also inspiration for his pieces.
Alexis Esquivel freezes the inherent strength of pictorial representation essential scenes in the international political context. History painting could be seen through the filter of this artist as the subject legitimized in the method and quality, in what and in how, exquisite offering only the final solution of the work which transcends the immediate headlines perpetuated on the canvas.
This artist’s work proposes the question of power through the representation of leaders that embody it, transferred to the physical and immaterial space of the same creation: from the idea until the piece. His vision of a contemporary being is also shown in his work, in which the postcolonial speech is expressed like a complex reconstruction of relating different in pieces as in El contenido de la victoria (2015) and Beijing World Park (2015).
Each of the components that make up his works can be clearly identified; the artist almost keeps the parties spotless without mutilating their meanings. Beyond the final dialogue that clearly wants to privilege, his machine of inferences establishes a succulent combinatory of events in an only canvas to define a clearly satirical account while still being thoughtful, of course supported in the title of each piece. His work will be, without doubts, unforgettable.