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
  • HurricaneSports

Miami baseball coach Gino DiMare didn’t want his Hurricanes this past Sunday looking ahead to the we ...

When UM spring practice begins in a month, here’s one of many things the coaches need to determine: ...

Jaiden Francois already had a reputation as one of South Florida’s top defensive backs for the Class ...

It could be a fruitful year for the Miami Hurricanes in the 2019 NFL Draft. NFL Draft analyst Mel Ki ...

A quick six-pack off UM coach Manny Diaz’s conversation with Joe Zagacki and Don Bailey Jr. on WQAM’ ...

Prominent music scholar Kyra Gaunt will deliver a talk Friday about her research into the racial opp ...

Students are invited to participate in the second annual Students of Color Symposium this weekend, f ...

At an annual luncheon, University of Miami scholarship recipients connect with the donors who help m ...

From eliminating waste to reusable containers, there are simple steps you can take to make UM more s ...

UM public health experts try to help tackle Venezuela’s ongoing health care crisis. ...

The University of Miami got off to a dream start at the ACC Swimming & Diving Championships Wedn ...

The sophomore first baseman smashed two homers to help power Canes to 4-0 start. ...

The No. 14 Miami women's basketball team is set to cap its longest road stretch of the season T ...

The University of Miami track and field team is set to compete at the 2019 ACC Indoor Track and Fiel ...

As has been the case all season, the Miami women's tennis team is top-20 in the Oracle/ITA nati ...

TMH Twitter
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 in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.