The Dystopian Tropic

By Antonio Enrique González Rojas

The paintings of Adrián Socorro (Matanzas, 1979) have the fragility of the images that dilute in the retina when the lids close as protection against an abrupt excess of light. His figurations seem to perpetuate the fleetingness of the exact instant when the forms resist the dazzling saturation that has previously swallowed its contexts, eliminating all volumetric perception, and any possible difference in their universal, absolute essentiality.

Thus, although his frugal landscapes and seascapes, the studies of objects of synthetic graphic signs, and the allegories of animals with a certain will of a very personal “domestic” bestiary all tend to the compositional minimalism and symbolic condensation, they end by revealing an atypical dimension of horror vacui. This dimension is articulated from the omnipresent light, sole reality where any sketch is scarcely fata morgana. Nothing lacks more emptiness than the agglomerating light of everything that is possible.

Socorro therefore searches a light that contrasts itself. Finally liberated from darkness as essential complementary opposite, it reveals itself as univocal monad where all forms converge and irradiate as plain temporary avatars that will not take long to return to their matrix after an ephemeral, illusorily independent tour. Because everything has always dealt with the struggle between the void (resumed in darkness) and the plenitude (identified with light). Total absence versus omnipresence.

Socorro’s diluted forms dialogue with Suprematism, where Malevich’s geometrical purities levitate autonomously in their archetypical perfection as highest incarnations of the paradigm systems of Modernity; while the work of the Cuban artist finds its place in an undeniable postmodern perspective with a melting of the great logic schemas that is stronger and ineluctable than the thaw of the earthly poles. He proposes each one of his paintings as a delicious contamination of all the elements, conceived from total visual permeability that turns them into legitimate results of the crisis of representation assumed as normal in these days.

Thus, the endurable earnestness of the light, which could be the reason for the deduction of impressionist principles in Adrián’s paintings, leads his interpretation to a discourse on the flagrant fragility and illusion of every representation, of every cultural construction, always based on the synthesis (ergo, reduction) from phenomenic to finite models in their dialectic capacity, always condemned to an expiration date.

Every representation is therefore insufficient, and the accumulation of meanings ends by breaking the exo-skeleton, expressing its expansive nature, its unstoppable mutation. Movement as sole constant. Thus, Socorro’s work can be appreciated as a dynamic expressionist deconstruction of the iconographies. Or as registers of the imago in full disintegration, very much in accordance with the premises that can be handled by a son (the artist) of the first Cuban generation that became an orphan with the death of something so paradigmatically modern as Utopia, and consequently adopted by the dystopian Modernity.

From a discursive perspective, Socorro imagines ever more sour allegories about the maddening condition of Cuban insularity and the synonymy of the terms “sacrifice” and “suicide”, “nation” and “yoke”, “patriotism” and “redundancy” for the nationals in current times. Including the suicidal wink at Warhol’s pop revolver in Isla, a profound psyco-social dissection of the country.

While Pinocho miente porque puede (Pinnochio Lies Because He Can) is an open reference to the pretension of absolute power and totalitarian hegemony, Orador (Orator) borders the limits of political humor, reducing this champion of frivolous proselytism until making it disappear under the ever more alienated and distant high-flown style of the discourse. The six pieces that make up Mural are no less iconoclastic, with other symbolic consecrations as concrete as the “attributes and symbols of the fatherland” protected in their forced immovable dimensions as disguised incarnations of idolatries.

Artist’s website