With the imaginative resources overwhelming in their expression and the brilliance and presence of his achievements, Ernesto Rancaño could have chosen to please the spectators, placing the pleasure of beauty in the others glance. But the creator understands his art as a questioning. He does not wear the suit of pleasant things, although a first impression in the face of his work tends to give that appreciation. Without ceasing to be a celebrant of splendid plastic solutions, Ernesto Rancaño gets into deep waters with his show Menos mal, Buenos más (Less Bad, More Good), this month in Villa Manuela Gallery, at the UNEAC.
Tu nombre se escribe con agua (Your name is written with water), mixed technique on wood.
Here the 38-year old artist from Havana, a graduate of San Alejandro in 1991 and with more than one dozen solo shows, brings together 26 pieces, 14 of them of three-dimensional nature, which is an extension of Rancaño’s expressive register.
Those big eyeglasses hanging from the ceiling of the gallery are a provocative point of view. A kind of invitation not to hide if you want to see reality, to assume it. Rancaño approaches that reality with water up to his neck in this project that can be considered an installation of multiple facets and supports, under the mellifluous varnish of figuration and beyond the negotiations with conceptualism. It would be worthwhile to ignore the cosmetics with which he disguises his fantasies and face the excess of the proposal, although at times, there are moments when the intention appears exacerbated and a poetic discourse indebted with surrealism seems emphatic. It is worthwhile, because the creator subverts the mystic and story-telling halo that grants a special aura to his images, with the critical intelligence of their visual appearance.
In the end, he defends an ethical premise. The artist once said: “I still think that humankind has done much good and much evil. It is therefore the key to the solutions; it is humankind that is responsible for solving all the dilemmas that the world is facing. Hence the essential, leading role that humankind has in my painting.”
By Virginia Alberdi Benítez