Contemplation and Signs
Ricardo Alberto Perez
The work of every artist with an enduring experience hides a powerful plot behind its immediate appearance that ends up transforming the creation into the force or energy capable of arousing the most diverse concerns in the spectator. In the case of Enrique Baster (Holguin, 1973) this force seems to be contained in his exciting re-reading of abstraction. He interprets abstraction as a “contemporary realism” made up of a series of mental and technical variations that grant consistence to each one of his proposals. In them he confirms that diverse elements of current life (trade, the stock exchange, diagrams, cartographies) refer you to definitely abstract scenarios.
This work gives us the possibility to face visual creation in its most splendid processing condition; we delight in the gesture of the one who makes believe that he tests or experiments when in fact he enables the flow of a content that will be the definitive delivery as long as he manages to surpass by far any naïve gap. His thought bets on the discursive capacity of the whole, with the series assuming top leadership, exploring and exploiting the rich network of associations that emerge from the link of similarities and differences among the works.
His series (Virus, Crowding, Diagrams, Colony and Garden, and Places in Process, among others) are defined paths that receive feedback from the very expansion demanded by his ambitions and strategies to explore the already irrevocably fragmented universe. This fragmentation will have to enter through the color hoop and inevitably submit to each of the unfolding demands, often disguised as strictly arduous fictions.
As essential detail, it must be added that one perceives a minimalism within this trajectory that parcels out the pieces, but at the same time this minimalism has neo-baroque inclinations willing to generate fertile conflicts; in a certain contraposition this neo-baroque at times overflows and predominates. Thus a crisis occurs within the parceling that leads to a more homogeneous path; a visual boom that takes advantage of the energy of the rupture to reinforce the poetic sense and open expression of each of these paintings. The great freedom that Báster makes us breathe in front of the canvases has as starting point the very titles with which he identifies the series, which trigger a polysemy capable of multiplying his intentions and granting considerable thickness to the territory by showing the traces of his main obsessions.
If we speak more specifically of some of his series, I confess that I am seduced by the vigor and color awareness that comes from Virus, where he goes as far as to propose a sort of regression, a return to the origins. He immerses himself in the suggestive spirit of geometry, achieving an understandable analogy with its frequent uses in contemporary life, with people constantly making use of it; in this way each of the representations can be interpreted as testimony of our contact with the surroundings.
In Hacinamiento (Crowding), among other aspects he proposes the utmost rebellion of the above-mentioned color against itself. In this way, the superposition of layers takes place; an endogenous revolution that will always make us think of everything that remains in the depth of each painting; let us say that this hidden or underground content is one of the main beliefs on which a landscape, as fragmented as intense emerges, capable of suggesting the diverse levels of life, from microscopic to the most complex social fabric or ecosystem.
Colony and Garden, his most recent series, is presented as a new challenge, especially for some subtleties that appear in it from the formal and also conceptual point of view. In that regard it is interesting to stop at the relationship that the image will sustain with the word colony and its expanded nature, leading to multiple associations. On the other hand, Baster speculates on the basis of the somewhat mimetic representation of the garden existing in the West, all of which he handles together within a climate of vitality and progression that, in my opinion, reinforces the dose of seduction in each of the paintings.
These frameworks are located beyond the city itself, although it persists particularly in the symbolic sense, in the spectator’s mind; in the people’s consciousness, where it acts as a very dominant reference. His works assimilate the impurities and interferences of a reality that complements the high technical demands to which he submits himself. Here, connections are constantly activated, tissues whose essential element is in that unfathomable category recognized as subjectivity; a tide that modifies the appearance of the visible as far as its own destiny and always leaves in us the desire to continue undoing its mysteries.