The colorful striped and knitted covering for a human head mounted on the wall at Planeta Cúbico‘s opening for Leonardo Cavalcante immediately caught my eye. Like a balaclava with no holes for the eyes or mouth, the covering would seem almost cruel if not for a kind of Rastafarian feel it evokes. The mounted head sculpture — a departure for the artist, who has focused largely on painting in the past — encapsulates the strange but satisfying mix of humor and mystery surrounding the works in his multimedia exhibition Presagio.
During a high-speed chat with the artist, who speaks faster than any Argentine I have met thus far, I learned that he likes to experiment with the idea of death. He does this in a much less obvious way that I am used to seeing. The mounted head, a classic way and obvious way to represent death of animals, gets twisted by the use of a human head and the notion of death is somehow contradicted by the cheerful knit covering. Human and animal switch places again in the painting on the invitation on which a red bear sniffs at a seemingly dead human body covered head to toe in the multicolored stripes that characterize Cavalcante’s work.
There is something magical about the way Cavalcante uses colored stripes in his work. Not only do the cheery stripes temper darker subjects in some of his gouache paintings, but they also create a sense of movement, like in the beautiful painting of a woman bathing in rings of color. Check out more of his work in Juanele’s weekend gallery posted later today.
Through August 19th
Monday – Saturday, 12 – 8 PM