There are a myriad of reasons why one might praise and love Cuba and its inhabitants, but the one truly striking element is its landscape. From the rocky mountain peaks to the blue, unforgettable shores, Cuba’s scenery leaves a striking impression with anyone. Many of these landscapes seen in the southeastern part of Cuba can be found in the paintings of the Cuban artist Alejandro Campins, presenting those views to the public of New York. Starting in February of 2016, the Alejandro Campins exhibition held at Sean Kelly Gallery will display all new paintings by the artist, marking his first exhibition in the United States. Drawing on history, architecture and the memory of his home country, Campins portrays a setting between reality and fiction, leaving the viewer in awe of Cuba’s beauty.
Born in 1981 in the southern seaside city of Manzanillo in eastern Cuba, Alejandro Campins is still a very young artist who none the less enjoys a lot of respect and esteem, and has represented Cuba with his art on multiple occasions. Some of the group shows he participated in include: The New Painters (2013) and Cuba (2012) at Salt Fine Art Gallery, Laguna Beach, USA; CubaContemporaine. Arte de la grande ile des Caraibes (2013) at Centre Culturel du Manoir de Cologny, Geneva, Suiza; Gulliver (2012) at Freies Museum, Berlin, and others, as well as several solo shows held mostly in his home country. He is well known for his mastery over a large canvas, and it usually portrays a sense of loneliness and serenity in the form of beautiful Cuban landscape and composed objects that are consistent with the surroundings. The textured surfaces of his paintings radiate with balance and philosophical reflection, captivating and evoking thought.
Showcasing his newest line of work, Campins brings Cuba to New York with his 2016 exhibition. The works to be presented exclusively focus on Cuban landscape, and his distinct style is obvious throughout the pieces. Investigating impermanence in nature and its relation to architecture, the artist depicts abandoned sites void of personality, emanating isolation and a sense of infinity. Placing objects like obelisk, mill, and even an old basis in fitting environments inspired by Cuba, he mixes nature and architecture as well as media - oil, watercolor, pencil - to create atmospheric paintings depicting a place between reality and fiction. Describing his newest work, Campins stated: “I approach scenarios which for me have an "anonymous" aspect, sites that have lost their identity and express disinterest, transformation and the failures of ideologies.”
Combining beautiful Cuban scenery with elements of architecture, intelligently placing objects into the memorable Cuban terrain, Alejandro Campins demonstrates his indisputable talent in his newest body of work. Using mixed media like oil, watercolor and pencil, he creates hauntingly evocative paintings that allude to the surrealist beauty of Cuba’s changing cultural landscape. The exhibition is on view for the public starting February 12th at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York, and will last until March 12th, 2016.
Featured images: Alejandro Campins - Montana de Terciopelo (Velvet Mountain) (detail), 2015; Alejandro Campins - Viejo Fundamento (Old Basis) (detail), 2015; Alejandro Campins - Obelisco (Obelisk) (detail), 2015; Alejandro Campins - Enfriadero (Cooling Place) (detail), 2015; Alejandro Campins - Molino (Mill) (detail), 2015. All images courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery.