Thursday, December 2, 2010

Santa Clara by Cesar Santos

Cavalier Galleries is pleased to unveil at Red Dot Miami Cesar Santos’ most important work to date. His most recently completed painting, Santa Clara, is not only a feat of monumental beauty but a powerful statement about the future of the artist’s homeland, Cuba. Santa Clara, where the artist was born, was the location of a decisive battle in the Cuban Revolution of 1958. This battle played a key role in Castro’s victory and ultimately led to the establishment of his dictatorship.

Compositionally, the painting is arranged in a classical manner with seven figures in the foreground composing a triangle, the Cuban flag at its apex. The setting, however, is distinctly contemporary. The group of figures, dressed in contemporary clothing, spills out from the shadowy background onto an asphalt road, a white traffic arrow pointed to the right emphasizing the forward movement and the political inclination of the piece. The vividly lit sky and tumultuous clouds underscore the drama of the scene as the victorious flag bearer tramples over a fallen communist, denominated by the colors of his clothing. The flag bearer’s clothing echoes the colors of the Cuban flag and her gaze directs our attention to an unseen future, emphasizing her role as the leader or guide of the trampled and fallen Cuban people. One figure, supporting the base of the flag, joins her in looking toward the future. This is in fact Santos himself, hopeful for the future of the Cuban people.

With this painting Santos has established himself as one of the most important contemporary artists to come out of Cuba. Still early in his career as a professional artist, Santos has displayed a range not typical of artists his age. This painting, almost mural-like in scale, confirms his staying power and makes a decisive statement about who he is as an artist.

Please visit us at Red Dot Miami, taking place November 30 - December 5, at Booth C-102. Please visit the website for more information: Red Dot Miami