Raul Enmanuel essay - by Sherezada Vicioso, art critic



By Sherezada Vicioso "Chiqui" *

A bird unfolds its wings in the heart of a closed fist. A barely suggested head in the middle of a party of dry twigs where the lilac announces itself and is diluted in browns and yellows, transforming themselves. The circle deepens the mystery, where is this image swirling to?

Bird in blue. again the stroke of a wing, also the skeleton of a leaf. The machinery of a sugar workers village barely suggested by the fragment of a wheel. Nerve, pistil, metal epithelium, breast in flight, palm leaf. Vegetable life, folioles, gramineous, light hinges, yoke, bone knives, the sea in which a water serpent, circular dolphin, dances. Sugar cane arms, fangs, a barely insinuated woman's torso, head in which the sugar' workers village is sketched. Cry of cane, a leaf that is a rail, bird of rails, pink rose in darkness. an angel made of rails and leaves of cane, screws, marine figures which arise from the water. X -ray of movement, a flute arm, wave movement. spiral of rails, half moon.....

Picturesque and poetic synthesis of the Caribbean, attained by an abstract painter with the solid training of Raul Enmanuel Pozo. Santiaguero, native of San Luis, Santiago de Cuba, today among us; alumnus of the Instituto Superior de Arte and the National School of Plastic Arts. A painter with wide teaching experience, gifted with a great command of drawing, evident in the fine firmness of a stroke. Master of color, which degrades in all the backgrounds to tell the story that obsesses him.

The history of his native Santiago de Cuba, of canefield, sugar worker villages, railroads, the sea, the yoke,the black women and men, the cane cutters, the Orishas who protect them and watch over them. History which, like lhe Caribbean it represents pictorially, is made up of fragments. Suggesting a synthesis of color, strokes, the piece of leaf with a petiole of rails, a circle that is the eye and head of a screw, the green skeleton which is also the canefield's face, the woods. Woman's torso, blue barge on a circular horizon, locomotive that approaches and threatens to tunnel into the eye.

A painter who has received many prizes and mentions in his native Cuba: Rene Portocarrero National Silkscreening Award; UNEAC Painting Prize; TELARTE National Canvas Painting Design Award, from the National Fund of Cultural Assets of Cuba; Poster Prize of the Carnival of San Luis, Santiago de Cuba. among many other distinctions. The work of Raul Emmanuel Pozo has also won vast international recognition, in our country, the Dominican Republic, where it makes up part of such prestigious collections as the Banco de Reservas, the Art Center in Santiago de los Caballeros, the Lic. Frank Marino Hernandez and the renowned Architect Eduardo Selman, and in the United States. where it has also formed part of the permanent collection of the MLA Gallery of Los Angeles.

Large format painting, which reflects Pozo's experience with mural art, because he has also done important murals in his native country, the paintings of Raul Enmannel sometimes evoke a color and fragmentation of the Caribbean symbology of Wifredo Lam; and the rescue of the elements of the sugar village mills, the machinery, the x-ray of the world of factories, trains and the universe of the operators, of that other great master of Latin American painting, the Chilean Matta.

Representation of the magical Caribbean realism revealed to the world by the words of Garcia Marquez, around the world of Pozo, rotate the verses of "Hay un Pais en el Mundo (There's a Country in the ·World)" by Don Pedro Mir, another universal Caribbean who, like Pozo is the synthesis of the Caribbean, because Pozo is a Cuban descended from Jamaicans, whose father worked as a railroad man. That is why this painter can never leave out the locomotive, the rails and always, in every painting, the face of the canefield.

It's not just Pedro who is present in these paintings, there is whispering from Nicolas Guillen, Carpentier and Lezama Lima, Pales Matos, Julia de Burgos, Marcus Garvey, CLR James, George Lamming, Derek Walcott, Jose Marti and Maximo Gomez, are also present in every fragment of the Antillean soil.

A bird's head emerges victorious from the fist that seems to enclose it in the prison of the frame, the walls. Water well where the perfect stroke is seen, the imaginary world that inhabits the green background of the well that Pozo brings to mind. as only a master with his training, his vision. his history, and his command in the art of merging color, drawing and image.

In his paintings the Caribbean resurges victorious from stagnant waters, converted in the proverbial bird whose two wings are Puerto Rico and Cuba, now Santo Domingo as its heart, and the gaze of Raul Enmaneul Pozo, clear and clean.

* Dominican poet, essayist and dramatist. (April 2004)

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