In the world of Wifredo Lam, individuals are made of geometric shapes and cartoon expressions. Welcome to the realm of surrealism, where nothing makes sense and everything is left to the viewer’s imagination! Be aware, underneath the layers of paint and the light brushstrokes lies serious political claims tied to Lam’s history and the conditions he’s been living in.
Some of the silhouettes are new to my eyes. If I compare them to the human body then I get soon irritated, as nothing is “normal” upon exploring the canvas, morsel by morsel. I see explosions of butts, breasts, and sharp fingernails sculpting the interior of a creative mind. Welcoming faces assembled of astonished eyes and surprising looks.
The center of the painting is slightly darkened with sepia tones so that the contour stands out more. The right side is especially lighter, as if it were the entrance, the symbol of an invitation to enter the painting from this side.
Nails are sharp, but so are some of the objects depicted. Blades, knifes and swords ornate the landscape. I have the feeling that this is a screenshot,as if Lam had taken the creatures by surprise, playing “statues”, before they all turned around. These characters are harmonious and intriguing in their poses and the way they stand. Some of the shapes are reminiscent of books. Perhaps it’s the layers of paper heaped and arranged throughout the space.
Lam has projected on a surface that was originally blank, a multitude of details, colors and new ideas, which altogether make sense. Nowhere have I seen that representation before, and I wish there was more. Luckily there is, the creatures from Lam’s imagination are gathered in “The Wedding”, “Nativity”, “The Eternal Present” and many more, for the pleasure of my eyes and the delight of letting my imagination run wild.