Jorge Delgado Gutiérrez

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Pictography of the XXI century

Suddenly, we find ourselves with works produced by artists with much talent, but practically unknown.  In this case, it is Cuban artist Jorge Delgado, who in the middle of much adversities has constructed a solid body of work comparable to that of many mature artists whose works can be found in museums.

The first reference that catches our eye when we see his works is that of the pictography found in caves of the so called “prehistory” (we consider that those times were also part of our history).  The second reference that we see is much more contemporary: the art movement known as arte materico.

Creating images that synthesize primitive art and one of the artistic movements in the avant-garde of the twentieth century, any interpretation made of these art works will show that in reality there is evidence that time does not go by as fast as we believe that as much technological advancement we go through, human beings are basically the same.

The hunter has not stopped being one because of his more sophisticated ways.  He who was frightened by thunder and found shelter in a rock has changed his fears to new ones, but with the same faith builds mechanisms of protection.  Wars between tribes, fear of the unknown, opposing that which is different because it does not fit the mainstream, has not stopped existing in today’s world.

Jorge Delgado Gutierrez does not have an extensive curriculum but has participated in important exhibitions such as “Jao Moch” at the Centro Provincial de Artes Plasticas y Diseno (Provincial Centre of Fine Arts and Design) in Havana, the second competition of Digital Art CLIC 2005, organized by the Clic Foundation of El Salvador, and the VIII Salon of Cuban Digital Art that was organized by the Pablo de la Torriente Brau Centre, and many others.

In his explorations in Digital art, part of his photography reconstructs pieces of the city in squares.  A photo becomes a metallic wall, full of fragmented phrases, with forgotten and oxidized objects, it becomes a picture very similar to that of pop artists.  About these art works the artist states that he only captures what he sees through the photographic lens and later manipulates the image in the computer, but basically his work is about “encounters” rather than “constructions”.  He believes “the artwork had already existed before, but not one had noticed it.”

Selecting is a creative act that many artists have pursued (Duchamp validated it with his readymades “The Fountain”, “The Wine Rack”, and many others).  In Jorge Delgado’s case, he not only chooses to photograph objects, but uses computer programs to change these images into more expressive ones and reconnects it with its arte materico, as he also does in his canvases.

It is how these digital experiments are conceived in the same cave like character of a pictography which he creates in his canvas with cement, sand, and a strange adhesive mix.  The photos document the cave paintings of the contemporary world; they are the graffiti and accidental marks on the walls of buildings of the marginalized neighborhoods of the city.

In one of Jorge’s personal exhibition, titled 212F, which took place at the Teodoro Ramos Gallery in Havana in 2004, one could breathe the influence of Basquiat, the famous North American painter, and the Spaniard, Antoni Tapies.  Actually, like any emerging artist, the influences were there, but not obvious; he has since developed a more personalized artistic product.

At the beginning we mentioned “thousands of adversities”.  Everyone knows that making art is a complicated phenomenon in the same way the process of creation is.  Some artists encounter less obstacles in their development (receive an early artistic education, have good economic conditions to buy art materials), but it was not the same case for Jorge Delgado.  He is a self-taught artist, whose sensibility and tenacity have been his strengths to become an artist in every extension of the word.

His relationship with cave art did not start with slides of the Altamira caves in a boring art history class, but in his friendship with an important Cuban ethnologist, the late Antonio Nunez Jimenez.  This investigator who many times left his book collection for great adventures and much research in his area of study, was the first to introduce him to his first books of Prehistoric Art.  Passionate about the books he was discovering, Jorge Delgado has built with a minimum of resources a body of work that is suggestive and strong.

Angel Alonso
January 2008

Pictografias del siglo XXI

De manera inexplicable nos encontramos a veces con obras producidas por artistas de mucho talento y practicamente desconocidos, este es el caso de Jorge Delgado, artista cubano, quien en medio de miles de adversidades ha construido una obra tan solida como la de de muchos artistas maduros cuyas obras hoy se encuentran en los museos.

La primera referencia que salta a la vista cuando vemos sus obras son las pictografias encontradas en las cuevas donde habitaron los seres de la mal llamada “prehistoria” (consideramos que esos tiempos tambien son parte de la historia del ser humano).  La segunda referencia que salta a la vista es mucho mas actual: el arte materico.

Haciendo imagenes que sintetizan el arte primitivo y uno de los movimientos de las vanguardias artisicas del siglo XX, cualquier lectura que hagamos de estas obras apuntara hacia la evidencia de que no ha pasado en realidad tanto tiempo como pensamos, que por mucho desarrollo tecnologico que tengamos el ser humano sigue siendo basicamente el mismo.

El cazador no ha dejado de serlo porque se haya sofisticado su modo de actuar, aquel que temio al trueno y se refugio en la roca ha cambiado sus temores por otros, pero con igual fe edifica sus mecanismos de proteccion, la guerra entre las tribus, el temor a lo desconocido, la oposicion al diferente por ser diferente, no ha dejado de existir.

Jorge Delgado Gutierrez no tiene un extenso curriculo pero ha participado en importantes exposiciones como “Jao Moch” en el Centro Provincial de Artes Plasticas y Diseno de la Ciudad de la Habana, en el Segundo Concurso de Arte Digital CLIC 2005, organizado por la Fundacion Clic de El Salvador y en el VIII Salon de Arte Digital cubano que organiza el Centro pablo de la Torriente Brau. entre muchas otras.

En sus incursiones dentro del Arte Digital parte de la fotografia y recontextualiza pedazos de la ciudad a manera de cuadros.  Asi una foto de la metalica pared de un taller, lleno de frases fragmentadas, objetos olvidados y oxido, se convierte en un cuadro muy parecido a los de los artistas del “pop”.  Sobre estas obras el artista ha declarado que lo unico que hace computadora, pero que basicamente se trata de “encuentros” mas que de “construcciones”,: nos dice que “la obra ya existia, lo que pasa es que nadie la habia notado.”

Seleccionar es un acto creativo al que ya se han referido muchos artistas (Duchamp lo valido con su ready made “La fuente”, con “El portabotellas” y muchas otras obras) pero