Edge

Philosophize this:Can a skeletal marionette with hollow bones find his/her soul?

Imagine if Socrates painted surrealism, Descartes picked up a drawing pad, and Nietzsche tried his (nihilistic) hand at sculpture. Well maybe the fusion of philosophy and art isn’t such a comfortable notion, yet Cuban artist Carlos Estevez consistently injects his artwork with a stimulating dose of the metaphysical. Estevez’ exhibit Circo Metafisico (Metaphysical Circus) headlines at the Diana Lowenstein Gallery in Miami.
A mock marionette stands quietly in the center of the room, a myriad number of strings lacing from the wooden block overhead to holes in a statue’s body. On the surrounding walls hang Estevez’ eerie, constellation-like creations, beckoning to the viewer like small, dark closets.
The universal element in Estevez’ work is the skeleton-like figures, done in white chalk lightly scratched over black paper. Spindly, anthropomorphic figures are connected with bolt-like white and red dots, giving an overall feeling of cosmic machinery. Occasionally, the artist jolts the darkness with an unexpected block of color in bright green, purple, or blue.
Seemingly making a parallel between the human race and the animal kingdom, Estevez tunnels through the ever-problematic condition of man and his instincts. In “El Arte de EngaOarse Mutuamente (The Art of Mutual Deception),” animal heads are placed on human bodies, the creatures holding masks of human faces in front of their own. Similarly, in “El Hombre y sus Circumstancias (Man and his Circumstances),” a lion tamer and the beast he subdues have been transposed. The lion’s head sits on the man’s body, its voracious jaw wrapped around the man’s head, which rests on a lion’s haunches.
Circo Metafisico also explores the dark underbelly of human nature, complementing the marionette theme of manipulation. In the startling “El Arte de Encantar (The Art of Enchantment),” a snake charmer lures a serpent that coils out from his own stomach. The sole subject of “El Marabarista (The Juggler)” is one of Estevez’ trademark skeletal figures, juggling tiny versions of himself.
Fortunately, the artist doesn’t confine his work solely to the tortured musings of the internal psyche. “El Individuo en la Historia,” in a nod to Cuba’s explosive political struggles, depicts a decorated military figure literally outweighing a group of common people on a scale. “Deporte Universal (Universal Sport),” a more lighthearted composition, shows two figures wrestling.
Most striking is “Les Risques de l’amour (The Risks of Love),” which stands out not only for its French title, but its implicit theme of romance, from which Estevez has until now shied away. In a well-worn, but still penetrating metaphor, a male and a female figure are pictured swinging on trapezes, in hopes that the other will catch them.
Whether you’re a self-proclaimed deep thinker or just taking Philosophy 101 to fulfill your humanities requirement, Carlos Estevez’s blend of art-philosophy is sure to stimulate your neurons. As Socrates mused, “life unexamined is life not worth living.”
Circo Metafisico runs through November 30th at Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts. Call 305-774-5969 for more info.

Jessica Misener can be reached at jessm02@yahoo.com

November 26, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

Lester Williams wasn’t on the field playing for the Miami Hurricanes when they won their first natio ...

An extremely frustrated University of Miami football coach Mark Richt began his media availability b ...

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.