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Jorge Luis Ă lvarez Pupo

selected works 1998-2009 1


Trance

The spiritual world that has the capacity to enliven a work of art is often more important than the work of art itself. “At times it is troublesome that the artwork monopolizes and defines our artistic interest. The works of art are always emanations, consequences, effects that illuminate the life of the individual, the artist,” expressed art critic Orlando Hernandez, clarifying the particular struggle between life and work. Jorge Luis Álvarez Pupo, has developed a body of work representing a universe formed by the rituals of faith through which human beings are able to enter the spiritual world. The images that appear in his photographs are completed in the mind of the spectator through the chain of events of one’s

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own experiences and remembrances, through the

the first light, like Oloddumare did when created all

manner in which the mystical and interior selves

of nature and human beings, seizing them from the

have been developed, through beliefs and faith

darkness of the reign of Echu. Men appear who

—  if not through ritual and prayer then through

fight against the elements in their primitive naked-

thoughts, desires, or “visions.”

ness, on whose faces we see the gaze of terror at the forces of the power of fire shadow, and destiny.

Or simply through the idea that every one of us is formed by the religious collective conscious-

With his photographs, Pupo succeeds in capturing

ness that defines the cultural context of our

every kind of movement —   the rhythm of the dance,

country,where those who are not practitioners are

the twisted movements of the possessed as they

not able to avoid the indirect daily contact. Thus

fall in a trance, the slow changes in the firelight,

art openly transmits life to us.

or the lingering form of the imagined moving spirits  — like the near imperceptible vibrations that

In these impressions in black-and-white that Pupo

consume the spirit world.

produces in the penumbra of the darkroom, images of human beings emerge from the shadows with

Mabel Llevat Soy Art critic and Curator

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1998-2004

Oggu´s power

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1999-2009

the way beyond 25


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2002-2007

visions 37


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 i was born

kind of blues

2004-2007 54


I was Born kind of blues is a referential metaphor

instrument, the body as the main protagonist of our

to the Kind of Blue CD kind of Blue by Jazz musi-

existence, it suffers, loves, grows, falls apart.

cian Miles Davis, which transmits feelings of a very diverse nature and states of mind in a kind of ¨ Blues-

This is a body of work with an apparently peaceful

Jazz¨ mixture. The title is an associative appropria-

spirit and visually romantic, but it has a deep charge

tion of two different media which are ¨playing¨ with

of loneliness, it is a visual paradox where the fact

the same emotions. This series is the progression

that you are quietly sharing very close portions of

of two previous ones : ¨ VISIONS¨ and ¨ THE WAY

space with others does not mean you are emotion-

BEYOND¨, where I had and still have the purpose of

ally in plenitude, it is just a ¨ shelter¨ to feel yourself

being part of the speech instead being the speaker.

protected. I am talking about my own conflicts and

Self-reference is a justification that keep me inside

other’s. I’ve kept an interest in manipulating light,

the phenomena I am talking about, a way of watch-

including zones of darkness, shadow (as zones of

ing myself on a mirror instead of pointing into an-

silence), where you whisper to hide your real feel-

other.

ings. It pretends to be piece of a non written diary of people around me, society and myself as part of it.

I want to push out a sensorial discharge of the transformation you pass by in your life, using a body as an

Jorge Luis Álvarez Pupo [May, 2004]

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work in progress

Silences 71


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wandering ways / 78


work in progress

/ caminos errantes 79


wandering ways CamInos errantes

Caminos errantes / Wandering ways is a visual reflection on the theme of migration, on the loneliness of human destiny and the conditional freedom of movement we face on a daily basis. In this essay I establish a relationship between space and individual or the lack of it within the landscape. I  concentrate on migrations as the physical change of environment, but also as psychological challenge to understand another culture and yet to keep alive one’s identity, even when moving within one’s own country.   On my way to produce this body of work, I´ve wondered many times how I could approach a subject

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such as migrations, without falling into the trap of

have created a false illusion of isolated and secure

what is easy and evident to the observer, running

private spaces, generating a kind of urban archi-

away from the comfortable environment of either

tectural paranoia in a form of huge blind buildings,

becoming a voyeur of what is visually expected

where psychological barriers are bigger than dis-

when talking about migrations, or either showing

tances that separate physical spaces.

protagonists as “victims” of the process which I´m

 

part myself.

In this work I create my own imaginary, sometimes using geometric patterns as visual codes to pres-

In several cities of the world, urban expansion is no

ent cyclical mass deployments, overcrowded me-

longer associated with the necessity to generate

tropolis as well as certain areas of tension within

living spaces for individuals who move into bigger

space-individual relationship; in order to show not

cities looking for broader employment opportuni-

only the natural barriers but also architectural and

ties. As fast as the messiness of unsustainable ur-

social ones and also question: Who am I, and

banization is developed, technocrats at metropolis

where do I fit in these new landscapes.

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Jorge Luis Ă lvarez pupo

Havana City, 1970 Lives and Works in SĂŁo Paulo, Brazil Free Lance Represented by Young Gallery in Brussels

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Studies • Graduated photography at the International Institute for Journalism ¨ José Martí ¨. Havana, Cuba • MAINE PHOTOGRAPHIC WORKSHOP.        Held in Cuba, Taught by some of the most important Photographers from U.S • Photojournalism Workshops 2002, Americas House, sponsored by the British Council.        Professor : Collin Jacobson, editor to Reportage. Selected solo Exhibitions 2005 “ I was born kind of Blues ”. Centre for the development of Visual Arts, Havana, Cuba. 2005 “ Invoke Ogoun ”. Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil. 2003 “ 7 days in Toulouse ”, Toulouse Music Festival, France. (Main Artist) 2002 “ Vivencias ”, Concha Ferrant Gallery, Cuba. 2002 “ Visions ”, Fototeca de Cuba. 2001 “ Reunion ”, Africa’s House, Havana, Cuba. 2000 “ Roots ”, Africa’s House, Havana, Cuba.

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Selected group Exhibitions. 2008 “ Group Show ”, Skoto Gallery, New York 2007 “ Selected Works ”, Skoto Gallery, New York 2007 “ The other side of the Soul ”, Tenerife, Spain 2006 “ Descubrimientos ” Award exhibition, PhotoEspaña-2006, El Matadero, Madrid. Spain 2005 “ The other side of the Soul ”, Kornhausforum, Bern, Switzerland 2005 “ Diaspora Cuba ”, La Saline Royale, Paris, France 2005 “ Alguien nos Mira ”. FNAC photo Collection. Museu Valencià de Il-Ilustració i la Modernitat ( MUVIM), Valencia, Spain 2004 “ Images entre Historie et Poésie ”, La collection photographique de la FNAC. Conciergerie. Paris, France 2004 “ Religions of Cuba ”, Patterson Museum, New Jersey, USA 2004 “ Crosscurrents ”, Refugium Gallery (European month of photography), Berlin, Germany 2003 “ The other side of the Soul ”, Fototeca de Cuba, Havana, Cuba 2003 “ La photographie contemporaine à Cuba ”, FNAC Wilson, Toulouse, France 2003 “ Imágenes Havana ”, Centre for the development of Visual Arts, Cuba 2003 “ Diaspora Cuba ”, (Special mention of the jury) International Biennial for photography, Bamako, Mali 2003 “ Panorama of Cuban Photography ”, National Arts Museum, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2003 “ Pulsiones ”, José Martí National Library, 8th Havana Biennial, Cuba 2002 “ Cuba Today ”, Palm Beach Photographic Centre, Miami. 2003 “ Cuba Today ”, Cornell Museum of Art and History, Palm Beach. (Photofusion-2003). 2002 “ Rituals ”, International Press Centre, Havana, Cuba 2002 “ La photographie contemporaine á Cuba ”, FNAC Etoile, Paris, France 2001 “A winter in Havana”, “ Morro-Cabaña Fortress Gallery”, Havana, Cuba

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publications • Arte Cubano magazine • Fotografía Cubana Magazine • Washington Post (Interview to Viggo Mortensen) • El Dia, Spain • Art Fórum magazine • Paris Photo Magazine • Photo Magazine, France • Rézo Afrique magazine • Palm Beach Daily News, USA • Photovision Magazine

BOOKs • Les annés Cuba, Editions de L´aube, 2002 • Trance, Santa Monica, Percevalpress, 2003. www.percevalpress.com (included on the Top Ten list in an article on November issue of Art Forum magazine 2004)

• Mapas Abiertos : Contemporary Latin American Photography 1992-2002, Barcelona, Lunwerg Editions, 2005 • El otro Lado del Alma, Switzerland, Oehrli editions, 2005 Collections Museum of Albertina [Austria], Pinacoteca do Estado [São Paulo, Brazil], Govinda Gallery [Washington D.C.], FNAC photographic collection [Paris]. Others private collections from United States, Brazil, Austria, France, Italy.

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Jorge Luis Alvarez Pupo  

Photographer (Cuba) Portfolio 2010

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