Alicia de la Campa

By R10
April 11, 2023
From the Criaturas de Isla series: Recuerdo inesperado, 2021
Mixed media on canvas, 22 x 28 inches

Alicia is a Cuban artist born in Havana in 1966 Her artistic work has mainly been developed in painting, drawing, and illustration. We talked once, but not enough to infer her references. On the occasion of this exhibition, I gathered some of her statements, concise texts on how she perceives herself, clues about the intellectual structure that underpins her artistic proposal. I have not been able to find rational arguments to attempt an objective assessment because Alicia blurs the boundary between the world of reason and that of emotions at all times. However, I am familiar enough with her work to see that, essentially, she addresses two primordial subjects: women and the primordial cosmos. Although she blends them into the same semantic plane, I prefer to separate them into complementary entities. In other words, she uses "sorcery" arts to enable their interweaving with the wonders of the organic world. In her representation, she incorporates natural elements, fragments that reinforce her as a biological entity, while her spell goes back and forth from earth to ocean. For some reason, I think of the dawn of humanity, when people lived at the mercy of the elements, when man noticed himself, compared to insatiable carnivores, to large herbivores, while envying the majestic flight of the eagle, a disarmed, defenseless, and unremarkable being. At a time when nudity had no symbolic value, when it meant nothing, people began to paint their faces, fill their heads with feathers, and put them inside the skulls of the monsters they suffered. It was undoubtedly a "primitive" way of mimetically facing danger, but above all, of proposing a dialogue with superior spirits, which they believed owed them survival. I hear echoes of that exchange in these pieces. It's possible that now -- there's no way to overlook it because it's impossible -- the circumstances in which their proposals are born are just as ungovernable and require a high dose of spells, masks, and red stripes, feathers, and claws to face them, because the feeling of vulnerability is the same. Political animals are more dangerous than predators. During moments of calm, this camouflage becomes decorative. A little later, it becomes symbolic

Can a feminist discourse be invoked from a cosmetic perspective? I don't know. The fact that many of her women are shown in partial nudity doesn't make me perceive any eroticism either. Women so spiced up don't arouse my appetite. I have the impression that their raw beauty is not enough for them. They get entangled in the same magical attributes of the beginning of time, among the wings of birds, the sweetness of fruits, and the ability to breathe underwater like fish. They display their adornments addressing the cold world of men without even a smile. Who are they protecting themselves from? Because the camouflage is evident. What are they tempting? Because the ornamental display is just as noticeable. I remember Portocarrero's Floras, polychromatic and quirky, which in turn seem to bring to the fore the compulsive symbolism of the Renaissance. Archimboldo, the author of the famous "Spring," considered his creations to be nothing more than clever pastimes, bizarre and extravagant whims to represent concepts that were unavoidable for the time, such as the union of man with nature and the constant transformation of matter. In any case, this is a work that pays tribute to creation, which from a concealed intimacy looks outward to its own creator and proposes a method of knowledge based on delirious associations and spontaneous symbolic linkages. It moves confidently on its own path.

Sonatina habanera, 2015
Acrílic on canvas, 39½ x 28¾ inches


Support the

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Follow us in social media

12063 SW 131st Ave, Miami, Fl 33186 United States
+1 786 794 3699

©2024 MoCAA