Carlos Quintana: The Diamond’s Shadow, Pan American Art Projects,Miami, 2019
Carlos Quintana: A Mood
The Good (artists) only exist in what they do.
The work of Carlos Quintana is the result of his mood. His world is his work, and all of it is, at the same time, cumulative. Accurate separations between series or epochs are not possible in terms of the essential, in each, there is everything that comes out of itself. The only possible identification is given by the appearance of new elements, which are added to the body as a branch to a tree, literally. Another essential element of Carlos Quintana’s work is his condition as a subject. He does not see his oils as paintings, he sees them as a whole, and that is why he stains everything: the frames, the study, himself. His work is also visceral, as visceral is his attitude towards art, and towards life. He does not try to please anyone. In a context where personal relationships are fundamental, … and they are! -I refer here to the world of art and “the selfie” as a manipulative weapon of legitimation-, having a work like this allows you to work without having to please anyone, because today, more than before, being solid in what you do saves you from giving concessions of every type, and these, unfortunately, many times are defining.
The creative world of Carlos Quintana is airtight, it is a place where only he enters, and that is where his work is, from which we see what he decides that we can see, and which we will never decipher either. All this world that “we do not see” is precisely what surprises us because it always appears suddenly, in forms and colors apparently out of control, and that is its best tool: creative insolence, being at peace only with itself. In the end, that is the only thing that makes you free and that is what is most perceived in front of a work by Carlos: the guy is free; he is completely free.
Another aspect that makes a big difference for me, is that he is a voracious reader, and that is not seen, but it shows. He grew up among books, his father worked at the National Library of Cuba -there Carlos spent much of his early childhood- among huge bookcases and the smell of ink and old paper. And that is a big difference, because the culture is cumulative and feeds on itself, and once again the essential is what is not seen: in this case the background of a work that impacts us because of everything behind it, and which also feeds on itself. Because always, and in art too, everything is a matter of attitude.
This show is all of that, until today: and perhaps that is the only way to place it in time.
Carlos Quintana is undoubted, along with another artist that I do not have to mention because this show is by Carlos, the best living painter in Cuba, because you can be insolent with a profession only when you completely bend it, dominate it.