The Weight of Words: Golden Irony
My abstraction starts with testimony of the violent actions on the dissidents, but more than a political statement I prefer to talk about the silence in the civil society and art. The artworks absorb the cynicism of this society, they are ironically based on the human drama found in images and words. – José Vincench
As an artist who lives, works, and raises his family in Cuba, José Vincench’s personal experience stems from a place where the fabric of free thought and expression is compromised. But seeing it through positive irony, the artist points the finger at this negative reality by creating works with hidden meanings embedded in deliberately smoothly executed and decorative gold abstractions. Vincench’s engaging creations provide an enticing combination of politicized practice, conceptual soundness and polished works of art.
In his geometrical abstractions, he applies a set of invented codes and characters to create a simplified alternate discourse and experience. In his action paintings, he references the defacement of dissidents’ homes by government enforcers (unreported in the controlled press) in a sheen of illuminating gold.
Images of strife are transformed into a shimmering landscape of gold abstraction. The depth of the dissident movement, with its suppression and injustices, is displayed in a vision that seeks an idealized sense of order.
A gold painting has its seductive allure in the metaphor of gold and vibrations of light, giving depth to the surface of the painting. In this group of José Vincench’s most recent Revolución series, the canvases, large, medium and small, create a world of opposites.
Against the use of rhetoric as a means of symbolic domination, criticism, or attempt to transform social reality by activism, José Vincench applies his own sets of characters, idioms and codes to freely deconstruct this reality in exquisite golden works of art.
This is José Vincench’s second exhibition at 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel. One of his sculptures is currently showing at The Bronx Museum, “Wild Noise”, through July 3.
Vincench is a tenured professor at the graduate program of the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana. His works are in the collections of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Havana; Frost Museum, Miami; Rubin Foundation, New York; Perez Collection, Miami; UBS Art Collection, New York; Chris von Christierson Collection, London; Celia Birbragher Collection, Miami; CIFO Collection Miami, among other public and private collections worldwide. He is the recipient of the 2016 Art Nexus-EFG Bank prize.