Jose Vincench // The Weight of Words 

José Vincench, (Holguín, Cuba, 1973 )

“The Weight of Words”



Vincench’s work highlights because of its solidness and singularity within the panorama of visual arts in the island. His work starts from a process of acknowledgement and critical analysis of the socio-political context surrounding him and the circumstances in which the artist lives and works. Especially interested, since about a decade ago, on the events, subjects and political notions characterizing the present panorama in Cuba, his recent creations show a creative strategy in which the artist, instead of assuming direct active stances intervening in the social sphere from his condition as a creator, brings these issues to the intimacy of the study and submits them to an intellectual and factual elaboration which returns us a finished product, apparently not ideologized and abstract, and even with a certain decorative nature (accentuated in the recent creations because of the use of gold leaf as main composition material).


At first view (…), it would seem we could find a dialogue between the visualization of geometrical abstraction, visible in the works of the series El peso de las palabras (The Weight of Words) and the apparent abstract expressionism that can be appreciated in the pieces of Action Painting (as its title indicates). What is fascinating is that a second look begins to dismantle the initial effect and we discover that action paintings are only the reproduction of scenes of facades or interiors exhibiting the marks of violent or punishable events these structures have witnessed; and these are actually houses of dissidents that have been vandalized in acts of repudiation against these families. It is an interesting connection the artist establishes between the performance component of that abstract work and the violent action of the groups that carry out these acts of repression and intimidation. It is not the first time that Vincench articulates political or social comments based on the references of art history; already in former series as Lo que te puedo decir con… (What I Can Tell You With…) we appreciated this resource, which appeals to the use of those formal traits characterizing certain figures or movements in the art of the 20th and 21st centuries to discourse on the notions or political events of recent Cuban history.


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