Drawings among rocks, by Jesus Gastell
When watching his drawings, more than technique- exquisite by the way- you notice a philosophical touch in every one of his works.
Jesús Gastell Soto is an artist well known by the cultural project Glermitag, a workshop house that promotes collective and personal painting exhibitions of young artists and those committed to art.
Poética en el límite is the name of his last exhibition at the Art Museum of Pinar del Rio, and it contains eight drawings made with charcoal.
Most of his works take us through different elements, such as walls or rocks, and to make an analysis about important topics of human existence. That is a very personal impression of this journalist.
In the wake of this exhibition we could have a short conversation with the artist, a unique opprtunity, because Gastell lives in La Sierra del Rosario, Candelaria municipality, where he has his house turned into a gallery.
"Because they happen to be kind of a character, which begins to speak, to function inside the work, besides because stones endure, as well as their use in totemic culture, in rituals and in everlasting matters of the humankind".
And the workshop house ?
"I had illusions, the experience of the work in a gallery, and some concerns about the impact of art. All that encouraged me to create a space where I could paint and promote the work. Therefore my house became a place of creation, promotion, and debates about several questions, not only related to art, but general matters as well.
"At the same time it has been a chance for those people who didnt have the opportunity to study art. Now I work with a group of people of different ages, we have made some exhibitions together with very good impact, by the way. The gallery is the living room of my own house, I use the rest of the rooms for exhibitions too, my walls are full of works, and I use the gardens as well.
Tell us about your work
The work is the result of a process in which you have been creating and living, and at the same time gives you the possibility to understand the world you live in. That is not only up to your goal, but is an analysis the audience makes after a long period of time.
"That is why Ive done different things; and is that I have had the need to enjoy and live other experiences. Ive done more representative and naturalist paintings and even a more abstract notion".
You have had difficult times to promote your work...
"I have passed for all the stages, as the rest of the artists, and that means problems not only in the economy, but in the promotion; even with that new market thing. Ive tried to learn from every period and not to stop working, sometimes I included other projections such as design, photography and set design".
What do you think of this trio: creation-work-market?
"It is a new perspective in the world and we cannot escape from it; however I think there is a first and close relationship between the work and the artist, then there are various moments determined by the epoch. That is to say the market perspective is in this moment an international fact, where art is sell as a product and not as the conception of a work, but that does not mean that there is not a purpose to incorporate the market process as a part of a precise social context".
Gastell is that kind of people who likes to analize a question to give wise answers. He uses the same meticulous way to draw at the time to analyze life, perhaps that is why his art, more than creation, sometimes go beyond boundaries and becomes allegory.
Messages stay clear in his works, while the title of his last exhibition Poética al límite, invokes the most abstract things of human beings, who debate among desires, unknown and forbidden things, riddles, and the temporary things of life.
Behind his work, remains an artist, a man, who talking about his little girl, tenderness makes him weaker and at the same time stronger.
Source: By Ana María Sabat González, Guerrillero