Alfredo Fernandez Rodriguez
Today I saw the exhibit “Very Very Light and Very Dark (A police officer with Alzheimer),” the most recent showcase of work by Cuban painter Rocío Garcia.
The exhibition can be seen in the Cuban capital until February 8 on the second-floor gallery of the enduring Fondo Cubano de Bienes Culturales, located in Plaza Vieja, Old Havana.
Years ago Rocío shocked the Cuban visual arts world with her exhibit “Machos Marineros, Marinos,” which exposed one of the paths of human desire: that experienced by sailors every time they confirm their loneliness on the high seas.
I would have to describe the current exhibit as eerie, as I noted a tone similar to that used by Stanley Kubrick in his movie “The Shining” to indicate a calamitous immediate future.
In this instance, Rocío’s work represents characters who have stepped backwards into a forgotten reality of gambling and self-indulgence, which the illumination of his brush makes clear here in a very, very light or very dark manner.
Today Havana is different, and Rocío seems to be aware of this like no one else – at least from what’s revealed on her canvases.
In this exhibit she employs the image of a policeman —a corrupt one— committing a crime, despite the near presence of “the beast.” But she doesn’t care, she knows the moment is ideal: it’s now or never.
From here she takes advantage of the situation and shines his flashlight on the exact place where the crime can turn him profit, not only materially but also sexually.
The themes of Rocío’s paintings revolve around the provocative elements of Christian morals.
Forgetting ethics, anything is possible. The nocturnal city turns into a jungle, where only those who survive are the fittest and most willing to do whatever it takes to make it to the next day.
The paintings of Rocío are overflowing with bodies portending the return of a Cuba that was believed to be lost and forgotten.