After my eyes adjusted to all the fuchsia at Planeta Cubico‘s opening for Nicolás Uslé Wednesday night, I took a good look at the paintings before the gallery filled up. Featuring mostly hot pink and purple, the show’s colors reminded me of the wallpaper in my very girly childhood room, or the first pencil crayons I would have chosen from the pack when drawing a picture. But colors are where the similarities to my childhood days ended. Titled Psicosexual, the show features risqué works that show or suggest men and women in various sexual situations.
Something about the bright lighting and the colors of the drawings mixed with the green, turf flooring felt a bit harsh to me, but that could have been because I arrived early when the space was still fairly empty. And I don’t get the sense that I Uslé was looking for a gentle ambiance — or he wouldn’t have included drawings depicting erotic asphyxiation.
At first I thought the drawings had somewhat of a manga-like quality — with a kind of cartoon cuteness infused with a blatant eroticism. But after having a good long look at a piece featuring a naked fuchsia-haired male covered in hot pink chest and pubic hair with somewhat of a fiery-colored material dripping for his mouth, I thought the works had more of a fantastic quality to them. In another drawing a vixen with purple hair in a fuchsia, polka-dot bustier strangles a purple-haired male in purple handcuffs and chains while hot pink and red-haired cherubs with adult faces look on.
Like the cherubs and the colors of my youth, the mix of old and young kept coming back to me at the opening. It was even evident in the drinks being served, which combined apple juice with Jameson whiskey. Juanele photographer Andy Donohoe informed me the drink was a brilliant mix.
I chatted for a while with Planeta Cubico owner César Abelenda, who was dressed in a Night of the Living Dead t-shirt typeset with a fitting hot pink typeface. He assured me that Uslé was on his way, but being that I was not on Argentine time, I had to go before the artist arrived. It was a bit of a bummer because I would have loved to have asked him why he covered only one of the paintings with a fabulous fringed curtain that had a peep show effect harkening back to last Friday’s opening at Mite. Given that this was Uslé’s first ever solo show, I hope to have the chance to chat with him at another one of his colorful exhibitions in the future.