Infinite Collection of Silences…
By Antonio Correa Iglesias
The figurations in these canvases are closer to the phantasmagoric than to a possibility of becoming verses, as if they would convoke millenary exorcisms or dark evocations. They are possessed by an evocative silence, by an infinite collection of silences that, in the words of Lezama Lima, is a blood throng, a compulsive shock, a hermetic journey to an underworld overcrowded with indecipherable transparencies.
Yuniel Delgado Castillo constructs a figuration with no faces, a sort of inverse mannerism in a secularity nauseated by affected strokes and HD. What disconcerts from his work is the power of expression of his actors, who lack transcendence and hyperbole. It is true that his work can lead us to a comparative reflection on art; however, it is irrelevant to get lost in assumptions or denials on the conformation of the work. Truly important is the expressive force of the image, the distinctive way in which the composition maintains a balance in the silence; the way in which the stone face keeps to itself the momentous configuration of the dream. Let us stop searching for the analytical grounds of contemporary art and let us look at the telluric force trapped in a stretcher.
As revival of a bullfight, reminiscence of an agonic nightmare, these specters colonize in an expressive way, as if Nemesis invoked in them a dark purpose that is setting a trap in the hibernation denied in time or is signed by a misfortune that is nothing but the argument of the solipsists. The morbid nature of a figuration accompanied by a rhythm often associated to the undulations of the excessive curves denotes an expressionist reminiscence seldom present in Cuban painting.
As if racked with suffering, with an unpredictable agony, the figuration of Yuniel Delgado Castillo exercises the writer’s hand like few do today. His strokes open a wound, tear the surface warmed up by germination, bleed to achieve healing. Thick filigree creates a voraciousness that opens a dark, secular abyss. Looking into it, submerging, places us in an edgy and striking decline of our condition to attend a foreseeable profoundness, distant from the pampered mirror that gives back to us the image of Narcissus. So deeply lost was I when one summer afternoon in autumn disguise I visited his studio.
The atmosphere of his work transmits images more associated to dreams than to the possibility created by a fiction narrative. They are film cuts, specters, memories, or, in the worst case, premonitions closer to Rasero’s sensibility in “Sueño de la razón” (Dream of Reason). Everything is vertiginous although we may have the sensation that the rhythm sculpted in Tarkovsky’s times slows it down. Sparkles that illuminate and blind. Disconnected parts that announce an oracular axiom in their flight.
The force of this work lies in its shocking composition and rhythm plagued with an intestinal movement that evaporates any vestige of joy. His painting is an anthology of sufferings and efforts. His expressive force cannot be sufficiently condensed or compared in an analytical sentence. Today more than ever, contemporary art necessarily goes through a body of references that leads to the aesthetic experience. Without it we would be like a cow in front of an orchestra.
The work of Yuniel Delgado Castillo is also a search of the human, of what we have been, what we have pretended to be and what we have become. A sort of Cortázar’s bestiary, only accessible from a fiction narrative. The piercings and lack of chromatism in his painting are nothing but his own lacerations, his anguish reflected on a canvas. A kind of vademecum of prodigious audiences. Dante’s Inferno, Lezama’s Paradiso. Two universes; a vitality infested by the timid smile of sarcasm and expressed in the fragility of our condition.
Vertigo is the most contemporary element in Cuban painting; it is granting a certain universal theme to the morphologic and conceptual research, as well as a new way of constructing from the imagination. Perhaps this is a sign of a definitive change toward a new sensibiliy in addition to a new understanding and its necessary possibility of narration. The work of Yuniel Delgado Castillo is impressive, not only because it lacks arrogant and recurrent norms, but because the sensibility generated by the memory places this creator before a still unexplored will. To undo the agony and restore the memory of unfinished and indecipherable moments is undoubtedly a necessary archaeological exercise for the entire Cuban culture. In this way I expect that we may be able to definitely overcome the still chasing hidden ghosts in order that, deprived of remorse, we may produce an overwhelming blow to enable them to reincarnate in a new, omnipresent secularity with makeup of future.