The aura of landscapes...

Toni Piñera

Journalist and art critic
Many artists don’t confine themselves to recreating nature (considered by the ancient world as an unattainable model of perfection). Forever present in the history of art, it has been dealt with in a thousand dissimilar ways. Each period, each generation, has found the way to tackle it through different interpretative models. In the 20th century a strongly possessive action of nature was developed, so much so that Bertolt Brecht would define such intervention as a characteristic attitude of modern man. Nevertheless, already by the middle of the past century and until today, a change of attitude can be observed in numerous creators, one that tends to restitute the conceptual value of nature and attach importance to it, no longer inspired by reverential fear but by a place in the cosmos where man forms part of that nature. Be this introduction a way of approaching the work of the young artist Alberto Hernández Reyes (Havana, 1976) who in very expressive ways expands on the painting of landscapes, oil painting, and who is trying to offer a personal-original look on the surrounding nature, starting from the diffuse representation of its prime elements. It is no secret to anyone the fact that every creator, no matter the technique they work with, lives obsessed with a set of images that torment them and even feed their artistic fantasy. And this self-taught creator, who is now summoning us to his show Impermanencia (Impermanence), does not constitute an exception. He is obsessed with a landscape that exists in some remote place of his imagination. It is like an aura of oneiric landscapes that goes with him at all times along his travels through canvases and shades. With a personal stress (on what is metaphysical, symbolic, imaginary, topological), the artist, a graduate Doctor of Medicine, develops his metaphors about the land by keeping an essential experience of the landscape that crosses before us in different ways, with a life of its own and emotions that make us feel all sorts of things. At times it takes the shape of a stormy sea, with its waves of clouds and mountains, covered by a mist of time; some other times it takes phantasmagoric shapes, of bodies…the field of vision takes pleasure when faced with so much imaginative shrewdness. A walk along his creations allows us to look at chromatically sober landscapes, where there rest shades of ocher, gray and orange… There are no excesses. In keeping with color, he finds in it a defining element in his current painting, shaping spaces, crafting the precise atmosphere that envelops his creations. He presents us a metaphysical space, his interpretation of events and that poetic and conceptual complement that vibrates inside and comes out in the way of paintings, where it is integrated, history, geography, in one word… life, although man doesn’t appear and is just intuited. The thing is, as Alberto Hernández Reyes has explained, "some shapes dilute into others and their identities tend to blend together, due to, precisely, the Buddhist concept of impermanence, which alludes to the lack of individual essence of things, subjected to perpetual change and extinction". In the surface of his paintings there is everything: light, fire, space and time. Thus, we touch the infinite that cannot escape our own view. In those sceneries, there are areas that open with an enigmatic and mysterious sense. The point is that in the Man-Nature relationship we find an energetic link in which what is real and what is virtual come together in ambivalence. As if seen in the evening of time, his pieces focus on remote places he builds in his mind and then puts together on canvases. He paints what his eyes see —even in his mind— and he establishes a set of semantic and pictorial images that bring to the mind of the spectator multiple evocations.