On Alexander Morales

Alexander Morales is one of the strongest and most provocative Cuban painters of his generation.  A graduate of Havana’s prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte, Morales left Cuba less than two years ago and is now living in Miami.  Primarily a painter, he has also produced a large body of in other media.  He harmonizes the expressionist’s passion for paint and gesture, along with the exploration of the unconscious, and the more contemporary fascination with the intricate roles and masks we assume in order to triumph, or at least survive, in society.  His inventiveness knows no bounds—bicycles fashioned from pigs or sharks and installations made of fabric in which a submarine dons the costume of a clown vie with brilliant studies of the human figure in all its wrenching possibilities of expressivity.  Morales’ humor is never far from profound reflection, as is the case of his ABC series depicting, with vibrant colors and gestures, bulls on a tightrope—a complex yet accessible metaphor for the difficulties which venerable ideas about the power and dignity of the individual face in contemporary societies, especially totalitarian ones.  His close-up of clowns and his series on vedettes tip the scales in favor of abstraction while still reveling in the comic as well as the grotesque nature of these archetypes.  Throughout his work, there is a supreme sense of theater, a keen awareness of the reverberative life of images in the mind.

Ricardo Pau-Llosa