A couple of weeks ago, Pinta London was showcased at the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre, boasting modern and contemporary art from Latin America, Spain and Portugal. (I have been busy with work hence the delay in my writing this post!) I don’t know much about contemporary art from these areas, so I was eager to find out more. The process of Pinta London was different to other exhibitions that I have visited previously, as curators from various galleries and museums were invited to display works from their collections, rather than individual artists.
Walking around the space and taking in an overview of what was on show, I noticed that a large amount of the works featured strong and simple geometric abstraction, as well as the subject of sexuality. One of the artists that caught my eye however, was exempt from these themes. Gustavo Díaz Sosa, an artist from Cuba, exhibited a collection of his paintings, drawings in notebooks and sculptures. I found the paintings in particular to be very striking and thought-provoking, with crowds of tiny silhouetted figures distributed across vast lighter-coloured spaces, sometimes with faint outlines of buildings or text. Although it is slightly unclear exactly what the figures are doing, it makes you want to go deeper into the paintings to find out. Each painting tells a story, and it had me wondering whether it was a visual depiction of the Cuban history.
Reading up about Díaz Sosa‘s practice however explained that he has created his own interpretation of a science fiction iconography of the dystopian 20th century. The characters in the paintings, being absent and anonymous, represent the power of groups in society and how they work as a mass and collective. The near-blank background also assists in ‘painting the picture’, as it creates a colossal landscape of confusion for the characters to wander in. These paintings are so captivating and gives you a lot to think about, both with the visual representation and the angle of society Díaz Sosa addresses.
Another fascinating artist that caught my eye was Inti Hernández, a conceptual artist who creates minimalist architectural pieces. There were a couple of Hernández‘s scale models on display, which were from his recent project Encounter Place. These models are made from plywood, MDF and balsa wood, and the shape and overall form is very beautiful. What makes the models so interesting, however, is the false reality that the viewer is subjected to. Consisting of a perfectly round structure with equally spaced stands and steps, you assume that what you see is the same all the way around. However, Hernández has placed a mirror in the centre that creates the illusion of completeness, but behind the mirror is an entirely opposing structure. As well as creating remarkable architectural models, Hernández also addresses his view of life; two conflicting truths or opposing ideals can come together and find a middle and common ground. These creative designs are incredibly interesting, and looking up Hernández‘s since, I have found that the rest of his work is as beautiful, innovative and unique. I would quite like to see more of his designs made into full scale structures in public places!