My art tries to recreate the Afro Cuban religion theme from a probably never explored angle. This concern is based on the artistic approach of the most universal of Cuban painters, Wilfredo Lam, which he initiated.
When I take up on the world of beliefs, I am interested in lay emphasis on the religious system, the ethnic systems, both coming from the south east of Nigeria (Calabar Province) and its descendants, known in Cuban as the “carabalíes”.
The Ibibio ethnos is one of the groups I seriously come close to in my art; this is one I take up on with all its magic religious complexities as it is common to all Calabar ethnics.
I take to mean the myth and legend from an artistic point of view and try to make more humane this complex of beliefs, old legends and myths.
Some of these legends and cross cultural myths are reinterpreted in Cuba. For example, the legend of princess Sikan, when the she approaches The Oldan river to collect water in a vase and at that precise moment a fish gets into the vase, the fish is Tanze, who represents Abasi. The decision to sacrifice Sikan is made as soon as she sees Abasi, because Sikan is a woman, therefore she can’t posses an “abbakua” secret. This event is the basis of a legend and the image of Sikan comes as a goat, sacrificed in the ceremony.
Belkis Ayon , a Cuban painter, showed part of these legends in her work, with intent on her legacy, Yolanda Wood quoted: «Belkis Ayon “The rebirth of marked bodies” took over again the fundaments of “naniguismmo”», which had a condition of a masculine and secret sect, therefore created in it a more sober and austere referential world, which was more enigmatic.
To answer the question of how do I take on the creative work, I would say that personally, I don’t believe that it is different from the way other painters do. I get the sensation from what I observe and that relates to what lies in my subconscious; out of this crossing point, the essence, creative ideas come up and become visible. Something apparently that simple is the concept of my creative work.
As regards of the paintings, I want to approach the religious theme all the way through personal experiences, with a touch of poetry. I don’t plainly reflect the images of saints nor deities, but their essence, the meaning of rituals, myths, legends, signs, symbols, which I reflect through colors, shapes and movements. Circles symbolize the world, family union, animals, plants and beliefs, lineal shapes are symbols of rivers, little circles give the idea of eyes, stones; little cruxes give the idea of crossroads, power transmission, authority, authority, subordination and deference.
I hope to express in my paintings, the essence of the mysteries living in us, the unknown with everyday, common symbols, from one generation to the next.