As an artist, I find the opportunity for creativity by juxtaposing recycled elements that have already been used in art previously. These elements can be identified as objects or motifs represented in works of art or even as some specific language of representation itself.
One of the elements that I have used the most in my work is the human body, which reflects my interest in an anthropological perspective. However, the anthropological interest is channeled through the action of recycling emblematic ways in which the human figure has been represented in some periods of art history, focusing mainly on the ancient Greco-Roman heritage. In some way, I challenge the Western aesthetic paradigm by reusing historical symbols of power as building blocks stripped of content or resignified visual resources. The original images created to stand on a pedestal now somehow become a pedestal itself in my work.
As a Cuban, the Western culture considers me as "the other", but at the same time, I also confront Western culture as "the other". So, when I bring the Western European legacy into my work, I feel a lack of attachment that allows me to desacralize and resignify those visual icons and paradigms, and reuse them in new contexts, in some way like Picasso when he brought the African Masks to his works. Moreover, with the recycling action, I establish a dialogue with my personal experience as an immigrant, a situation that causes one to constantly reinvent oneself and stand up over a pile of old versions of oneself.
On the other hand, the anthropological connotations in my works sometimes emerge from more direct references to my personal experiences. Life's journey is full of unexpected episodes and situations, in which sometimes the feeling of being a pawn becomes overwhelming. Those episodes also find a way to be reflected in my works in a more forceful manner.
Carlos Enrique Prado, 2021
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