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fig. 98. Laika

Acrylic on canvas

25 x 25 cm


1. First living terrestrial being to orbit the Earth. 2. First animal to die in orbit. It is a series of paintings and drawings focused on the spatial historical portrait, where I address the ideological theme, specifically the space competition developed between the United States and the former Soviet Union, in the midst of the cold war. They are images of cosmonauts and astronauts whose facial anatomy I distorted and transformed into monsters. The portraits of these space pioneers represented to the world the ideals of their nation. These characters were news in the media and drew a lot of attention from those who followed all this propaganda machinery, which did nothing but divide the world into factions and create tensions. Millions of people remained expectant, almost no one was oblivious to this space phenomenon. The two superpowers rivaled each other in areas of science and technology, but without ever losing sight of the ideological-propagandistic component.


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ArteMorfosis - Cuban Art Platform

Jorge Rodríguez


Jorge Luis Rodríguez Marrero deforms ("dilutes", "liquefies", "melts") the faces of famous cosmonauts and astronauts, all participants in the race for the conquest of space, in order to - to some extent - depersonalize a scientific, technological and —of course— political race between two powers in the second half of the 20th century. The then Soviet Union put a man into outer space for the first time. The United States evened the score when man stepped on the moon for the first time. They were great milestones of Humanity, watersheds of history. And they were made possible by the efforts of many people. But the artist, more than the human being, revels in the symbolism of competition, which can be alienating. In these unique portraits, visual effects are recreated that could be associated with technical difficulties in the transmission of an image, but ultimately turn those portrayed into monsters (Theratos —monster in ancient Greek— is the title of the series). The deformation of the hero (rather the concept of heroism) by considerations that transcend the mere scientific field. A certain pop vocation is evident in these figurations, very apropos of the context in which the rivalry between two ideologies and two systems materialized. Cosmonaut vs. astronaut: is the apparent showdown. But in reality, it is a much larger fight, which goes beyond the most visible and media protagonists.

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