There are countless stories in Alfredo Mendoza's paintings; stories relating to hidden emotions and enigmatic ambiguities. There is countless of reflection, and countless unsaid dialogues and thoughts in the pictures of Alfredo Mendoza. What do the portrayed characters think of? What do they want to talk about? Whom do they speak with? Or are the characters on an inner search or an inner journey towards themselves?
- Alfredo Mendoza
Quis ego sum
An introspective journey through human life, or an existential view of human loneliness?
The characters portrayed are always people with faces turned away from the viewer or people with closed or blurred eyes. However, who are the people portrayed? What are they looking at? Why do we not see their eyes, and why do they often look down with bent heads, or directly away from the viewer? Is it like the Nobel Prize Winner in literature José Saramago writes in the end of his book ”Blindness”: ''Why did we become blind, I don't know, perhaps one day we'll find out, Do you want me to tell you what I think, Yes, do, I don't think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see”.'
The depicted people choose the introspective dialogue, even when others are present; a subtle choice of inner self control…, making each of the paintings a personal experience, and a journey towards oneself. An inner existentialistic journey.With his paintings, Mendoza invites the spectators to scrutinize what is within themselves.
We are – per definition - alone in the world, and yet not. We often close our eyes and experience the sensation of not being alone. And sometimes, even in company with other people we experience loneliness. Is that why many of the characters seems to be lonely? Or is this why we often see ghosts, strangers - or reflections of people - that wanders and coexists in many of the paintings? Do the persons depicted opt for an introspective dialogue even when there is company? And who are the strangers, why are they in the paintings, and what do they want? Is it the ghosts we all have, and which we all fight with? Many of the depicted people seem to be on their own (dreaming) travels. But why and where are they going?
In some of the portrayed characters, there is innocence, but there is also guilt. But who is guilty to whom? And can a human being be innocent? There is power and there is powerlessness. But who has power over whom and why? But at the same time there is a protective aspect in Alfredo Mendoza’s way of portraying this power. But who is protected against whom, and why?
Time (and space) seems to stand still, but despite of this the paintings still quiver of the many unsaid actions and tensions in the meeting between the characters. The underlying/inherent tension lies in the unsaid dialogues, and there is a huge universe of unsaid words, thoughts, dialogues and feelings in the paintings of Alfredo Mendoza.
With Alfredo Mendoza’s pictures, we seem to dive into an older (but also contemporary) dream world. There is a sad nostalgia over many of the pictures. It is like diving into a contemporary time pocket. Is it a longing for a bygone era? When all this is said, Alfredo Mendoza’s paintings poses – like life itself – many more questions than is answered.
“Why did we become blind, I do not know, maybe we find out the reason one day. Do you want to know what I think, Gladly, I do not think we became blind, I think we are blind, Blind who see, blind who see without seeing”.
José Saramago. Blindness.
Thus, try to see. Take up the challenge and pose your own questions. Take up the challenge and take an open look at your own life. Take up the challenge and dream your own dreams.
PS: Do we choose to close our eyes to the cruelty of the world, to ourselves, or to both things?
2004–2008 Academia de Artes Plásticas: Carlos Enrique. Manzanillo, Cuba
2017 – Momento silente. Galería Carmelo González. La Habana, Cuba
2015 – Cuando el viento pasa. Galería Carmelo González. La Habana, Cuba
Principales Exposiciones Colectivas
2017 – Post-it 4 Arte Contemporáneo Cubano. Galería Galiano. La Habana, Cuba
2017 – La isla esperanza: cinco artistas cubanos. Espai d’Art 32. Mallorca, España
2016 – AtelierLdep Gallery. Miami, FL, EE.UU
2016 – Coconut Grove Art Festival – Coral Gables. FL, EE.UU
2016 – Art Palm Beach – West Palm Beach. FL, EE.UU
2016 – Art & Desing Gallery. Miami, FL, EE.UU
2015 – Miami Art Basel Week. Miami, FL, EE.UU
2015 – X Contemporary Art Fair. EE.UU
2015 – El Guardabosque. Luz y Oficios. La Habana, Cuba
2015 – En el lago. Galería: Radio Metropolitana. La Habana, Cuba
2015 – El Guardabosque 2. Galería: Radio Metropolitana. La Habana, Cuba
2015 – De Momento. Miramar Trade Center. Edificio Habana. La Habana, Cuba.
Quis ego sum