“The Magical and Ludic of the carnival of Barranquilla”
The Carnival of Barranquilla whose main character is Joselito Carnival, who is born, dies and is reborn every year. The actors of this ludic theater, communicative, authentic, full of laughter, mischievous, sweaty and euphoric, are the city’s own inhabitants who spend twelve months working on this spectacular event that during four days turning time into life and adding to the latter dances, music, masks, rum and joy. The inhabitant of Barranquilla turns this magical, folklore and mythological celebration into a new dawn and a new hope until the coming year. For this re-charging of energies there is no age, no race, no social class, no cultural class, no limits, no fears, no frontiers, but one communion intertwined into a musical hymn, one for all an all for one to enjoy to the hilt this carnival and the current reality of “who lives it is who enjoys it”.
In my paintings I highlight bright and insinuating colors; reds, blues, yellows, greens and oranges, surrounding the bodies within the strength borne by the color and the forms as a response to my emotions and thoughts, and also recalling the culture where I grew up. The characters, with their costumes of congos, garabatos, monocucos, marimondas and animals such as the tiger, the elephant, and the donkey do take me to a world across time voicing their history, their happy past, full of adventure and that shall remain pending in the future. I do wish to honor and offer this unique cultural repertoire of dances, entertainment, litanies, music and theater where my people conceal themselves, they lose their inhibitions, become critical or show a different personality throughout the carnival.
I use a semi-figurative character to broach the Colombian northern seaboard carnival realism and abstract expressionism in its allegorical aspect. My paintings, installations, and ensamblages do reflect my roots, my memories, my experiences in the Caribbean, my region. With this exhibit, I wish to make a small homage to it and my goal is to re-construct a long story in a short documentary about our heritage and its participants. I have tried, as best as I can, to capture the tradition of the carnival and the manner in which it does manage to unite the people in one great local and national party without loosing its current universality. The carnival of Barranquilla is a cultural and creative fusion of three peoples; the indigenous, the european and the african, where are gathered the expressions of that grand event that is our carnival, declared national heritage by the Government and by the Unesco as tangible and intangible heritage of humanity.
Nevertheless, I cannot neglect the fact that throughout these days, the whole world reality is depicted crudely disguised in the comedies, litanies, costumes, parodies, music and songs where, in a burlesque and satirical manner, critic and jocularity is blandished, to entertain even the most candid, without leaving any trace of resentment, vengeance or hate. The magic that springs there from is contagious, and it is the only time in the year when everybody can invent a new life.
In order to understand the carnival you just reach the facts, recognize the symbolisms contained by these collective popular festival and enter the soul that not only includes Barranquilla, but also the inhabitants of the Magdalena River banks as well as the Caribbean Ocean, where it is the same people who are played during four days and become real. It is the renaissance of a people based upon laughter, magic and interplay.
I show the carnival as something perdurable, where new generations will continue loving, desiring and missing it, maintaining it as the grand banner of our culture. I invite the audience, the public in general, to seek their own images in my work, to come out from their interior world and to let loose their memory so as to place themselves in their own reality, with their own mask.
Behind that mask, where we conceal our outside world, experiences, affective bonds and freedom wishes and let loose our hidden self.