Eduardo Ponjuán
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Eduardo Ponjuán

Some of Ponjuán drawings featured in Gallery 106 seem to be conceived as projects for a kind of combinatory object. An image with horns emerging from it, books that are chained, pierced, tortured. In reality, all of these drawings have a closeness to the plan, to the idea in process, and play with the appearance of the unfinished sketches. That tone is achieved with the minimal selection of the medium: pencil, graphite, and watercolors, and the use of lined paper that give this collection of drawings a seal of immediateness in spite of the meticulous technique and the attention to details. These works make us think of the artistic image as a product that is potentially measurable. It also invites us to reflect upon the difficulties inherent to any attempt to equate the artistic with the mechanical and with the rigidity of preconceived structures. The drawn images, some aggressive and some almost sweet, emerge from the graph paper like an affirmation, perhaps too romantic, of the ability of art to overcome limits and restrictions.

These drawings have other implications as well. Some can be appreciated as parodies of commercial art and of the most stereotypical illustrations. The female figures, as well as the anatomical fragments that appear in many of the works, have been taken from the work of Andrew Loomis, a North American commercial artist whose books, originally published in the forties and fifties, were reprinted in Cuba during the seventies. The most popular of these books, titled "Drawing of Success" ("Dibujo de Exito"), offers quick recipes for drawing any kind of thing. It pays special attention to the human figure, represented in poses that go, according to LoomisÍ aesthetic ideals, from the pedantic to the slightly erotic. Ponjuan explores the possibilities of these "prefabricated" images. He puts them in new contexts, and exalts with irony the ridiculous aspect of the representations and the sometimes pompous, sometimes prim and proper, sense of the illustrations that are promoted as safe recipes for artists in search of success.

Click here for information regarding Eduardo Ponjuán's exhibition at Gallery 106.

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