Critic Texts
The Bestiarium of Carlos Estevez by Edward J. Sullivan
Catalogue text. Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
In countless illuminated manuscripts from the Romanesque and Gothic periods, animals, both real and fantastic, make their appearances. The medieval painter reveled in visual descriptions of these beasts, as both ancillary to the depictions of biblical or historical scenes, or as the principal subjects themselves. The bestiarium, or description of the appearance and characteristics of animals, became one of the most important genres of medieval secular manuscripts. Often the beast depicted would be assigned a characteristic that accorded with human behavior or personality traits; the bee would be described as the paradigm of the model citizen, the beaver as an industrious villager, etc… Such classifications foreshadowed the popularity of the encyclopedias of the Middle Ages and the more scientific compilations of the Enlightenment.
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Carlos Alberto Estevez Carasa by Abelardo Mena
Words for the Catalogue Cuba Avant-Garde. Harn Museum of Art
Between the 1930s and the 1960s, the dynamics of visual art production in Cuba focused on the creation of images that would vindicate Cuban subjects through a reworking of avant-garde trends. Within the canon established in the art capitals of Paris and then New York, Cuban modernism appeared as a “secondary” adaptation of the “original” sources. But with the pivotal 1981 exhibition Volumen I and the generations of artists that followed, contemporary Cuban art has overcome its “peripheral” condition and its inferiority complex, producing a modern art that does not limit itself to the easy recourse of the “national”. Cuban art now circulates unabashedly through the global contemporary art world. The active Diaspora of artists from Cuba –as émigrés or via the nomadism institutionalized by international biennials, residences, workshops, and scholarships- has contributed to this process. Shaken out of an undemanding, comfortable pigeonholing into groups or trends, Cuban visual arts are nowadays an archipelago of many islands. Generic categories of “kitsch,” postmodern,” or “rebellious” art, which in the past were useful in discussing similarities between artistic processes inside and outside Cuba, have since exploded under the pressure of strong personalities who defy any attempt at classification.
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Carlos Estevez. By Osvaldo Sánchez, México, D.F., Julio 1997
Carlos Estévez (La Habana, 1969) es parte de una grupo reducido de artistas cubanos de los noventa que vivieron la experiencia extraordinaria de iniciarse en el arte guiados por la delicadeza espiritual y la ensimismada solidez de José Francisco Elso, en lo que entonces llamábamos La Escuelita de 23 y C. El peso de esa comunión indeleble con Elso pareciera limitarse a la ligereza de ciertas prescripciones básicas, más bien retóricas, evidentes en la apariencia ritual y en la reducción simbólica de muchas instalaciones y objetos esculturados de Estévez.
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Carlos Estevez by Corina Matamoros
Tomado de Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Colección de Arte Cubano. 2001, Pág.268
Carlos Estévez es un joven artista que se da a conocer en los años 90 y que en una muestra personal de 1992 se propuso establecer un culto al universo espiritual del hombre, según él mismo definiera. Esta máxima sigue siendo, en gran medida, la sustancia de toda su trayectoria. Estévez interpreta todo lo que acontece, todo el mundo de los objetos y de la cultura, a través del prisma de la espiritualidad y de la reflexión acerca de la existencia. Su poética deriva de las ganancias y repercusiones que han tenido las corrientes postconceptuales en Cuba a partir de los años 80 y entronca con ese camino abierto desde Elso, en que lo religioso gana terrenos en el arte, tanto desde sus concepciones trascendentes, como desde sus metodologías.
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