Magazine 29 (EN), Stories (EN)

Mario González “Mallo”

The Spontaneity of Contradiction

By Kanaima Raña Santos

Multiple are the visual characteristics that are frequently revealed from the diverse edges of contemporary art. As a significant part of it, we are shown the abstraction, an artistic current that in Cuba every day generates more followers, particularly among plastic artists, and becomes an infinity of experiences devised from the contemplation of our own reality. Creators generally make use of the observation and representation of subjective aspects for the realization of remarkable works worldwide. The abstract painting of the young artist Mario González Rodríguez “Mallo” (Melena del Sur, 1987), appears to me as one of those pictorial series that cannot be ignored and that bring with them emotions, and the desire to continue appreciating more than what is perceived. 

Since he imagined his first abstraction, he knew that this way of painting would define him. In his pieces, structurally well conceived, we find the sinuosity of each line, freely placed, but which generates an optical effect that goes beyond the taste for mere forms, and through various interrelated chromatic levels, they give us a glimpse of an expressive cosmos.

In the same canvas, the painter moves from one tone to another, proposing and naturally encouraging dissimilar readings, as is reflected in his recently created Controversy series, in which the works Metaphor and Marilope stand out. These works are inserted within the landscape theme and compose a framework of ideas that communicate with the viewer various sensations.

With dexterity, the creator admirably handles dimensions and space. A significant example is the diptych, Improvisation is Allowed. On neutral tones, a framework of undulating forms and tonal values is erected, placed side by side or simply in full juxtaposition, assuming the expressive value of the same visuality that is distinctive of his painting.

His plastic work is defined by its remarkable expressive force. The painting becomes the center in itself and calls for dialogue, for emotion. The lines burst and take over the space, merging with the textures that oppose each other, that break, perhaps structurally, but that go beyond the limits established by the frame of the piece. 

The landscape, frequently used, becomes fragments of nature and floral motifs described by means of ochers, yellows, oranges that are ready to serve as platforms to interweave with the fleeting shades of black or white. Despite the free expansion of lines, tones and textures, each color is perfectly distinguishable from the other, as well as the forms that are established in the work.

Mario González uses the pretext of contradiction to generate a personal analysis. The visualization of his paintings occurs in a coherent process of constant experimental search. An example of this is when he expresses: “…I leave the words on the canvas, I constantly generate many ideas and I visualize practically everything…” and I perfectly understand him. He suggests and takes as a reference an argument, a starting point to redesign himself in each piece. Which influences that visuality to which perhaps some of us are accustomed as spectators and others are not.

On the different readings that the creator’s works arouse, Ángel Alonso, critic and artist, develops a well-structured approach: “…Of course, there is a first level of reading, more elementary, which is limited to the taste for the concerted colors, the grace of the strokes and other decorative values of the work, that is the case of the buyer who chooses a painting because «it matches the sofa», but there is another level of reading, deeper, which we can reach if we tear the curtain of the decorative and we enter into the spiritual world that Mallo proposes to us…”i

Mario has developed a creative work of significant value within the Cuban abstractionist field. Within this universe, investigative work is part of his creation, that is why he frequently talks to me about new projects, ideas that are not waiting to be reflected in the right support. The artist does not stop, he revolutionizes his context and makes a place for himself in the complex world that surrounds him. I contemplate his pieces and wonder what he will conceive for a new project. His capacity for wonder is infinite.

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