Magazine 29 (EN), Stories (EN)

Luis González Rodríguez

Creativity, Synonymous With Intelligence

By Nathalie M. Sánchez 

Luis Antonio González Rodríguez’s form of expression is painting. However, he does not limit himself to it, but feeds it with those sensorial potentialities provided by music, video and children’s games. For this artist, each of these elements works as an amplifier of the senses. It can be said that all his creation is a painting, since each relationship with any other manifestation, seeks as a purpose, to produce images.

His interest in music is not given by the rhythmic and sound-material structures, but by the semiotic relations and meaning, and the interaction that is established with the image itself. If we could qualify the result, it would be a figuration that he himself describes as a kind of seduction and control, of manipulation of the audience’s mood.

Another of his most endearing and remarkable links is his successful attempt to imitate children’s iconography. With the birth of his daughter Lizz Isabela, his art mutated in such a way that he found meaning in the drawings of his little girl. For Luis González: “the art-life scheme (of an artist) and play-life scheme (of a child) are structurally the same. Both the child and the artist draw from their experiences and, through play and artwork, transmit their ideas and uncertainties. As the years go by, the child grows up and becomes a man, and those ingenuities are transformed into big questions, to which he has to give an answer”. 

In his creations, there is a feedback, in which the artist is nourished by his daughter and she by her father. An example of this is his work De-generation, a triptych in which a painting by the 18th century neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David, another by the artist Luis González and one by his own daughter are represented. Each of them shows the same work Napoleon crossing the Alps. The first one corresponds to the classic painting of that century, while the following two are a reinterpretation, made from children’s strokes. These paintings, like a group he built later, belong to a 2019 series called Battle Instinct. The idea comes from an electronic music album of the same name, which contains 8 songs, and each drawing, painting and sculpture, which make up the series, illustrates one of the tracks on the album. The most important thing about this CD is the concept of resistance. According to Luis: “It is necessary to resist obstacles, to open the way and to know how to fight for our roots. In this way, each person will form within himself a «battle instinct», an instinct that keeps you tentative and alert”. The album becomes a tribute to a group of people that the artist considers heroes, “after fighting for a better place, to those who were able to make the glorious, survivor’s march; and to those who were able to win the romantic war of love”. 

In this intention of homage, and relationship with music and children’s art, the artist makes a kind of parody of the works of Jacques-Louis David.Through charcoal and pastel drawings, he recreates paintings such as the Oath of the Hours or the Rape of the Sabines, just as a child would do, adding elements that, as a whole, produce comedy. Humor is also an important part of his work. In his paintings, the hero is a fundamental character, and he recreates battle environments, in which he represents this social conflict contextualized in our reality. Through texts written on the painting itself, we can see that these are situations linked to the “tail phenomenon” as a universal fact. The latter, seen through the appearance in the catastrophic scenario, of characters such as Deadpool, Elpidio Valdés, or Bender, the robot from Futurama.

Following this line of parody, Luis González also excels in sculpture. Of small formats, built in different materials such as stone, resin or bronze, and on many occasions, with a marble base, the pieces are imitations of wooden horses in the form of a seesaw that functions as a “toy” for children. The character on the horse is what he describes as a powerful leader, represented from a dummy, and once again, he is connected to the idea of people who have survived life’s obstacles, and have had to dress up as heroes. In the words of the artist: “This is the body of this leader on horseback, who incites a people to follow their ideals and fight for them. Besides being the reflection of a whole society educated under an ideological battle, guided by a single leader. To the resistance! is the call of this hero, to the resistance, but in combat ahead”.

Luis González is an artist who knows how to have fun with what he does and who knows the true meaning of that word. His daughter is his inspiration, his main engine. His works are spontaneous, with a sense of experimentation, entertaining, authentic and above all very creative. Precisely because of this, he manages to amuse our own intelligence.

Luis González Rodríguez, Cuban Contemporary Artist, artista cubano contemporáneo
Luis González Rodríguez, Cuban Contemporary Artist, artista cubano contemporáneo
Luis González Rodríguez, Cuban Contemporary Artist, artista cubano contemporáneo
Luis González Rodríguez, Cuban Contemporary Artist, artista cubano contemporáneo
Luis González Rodríguez, Cuban Contemporary Artist, artista cubano contemporáneo
Luis González Rodríguez, Cuban Contemporary Artist, artista cubano contemporáneo
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