Angela Alés, Intersectionality curated by Roxana M. Bermejo
Angela Alés is an artist born in Barranquilla, Colombia, of Andalusian and Lebanese descent. She is a dedicated student of philosophies and world religions and her spirituality has emerged as central themes in her work. She has participated in over 30 collective and individual exhibitions in the US and Central and South America. For most of her artistic life, Angela’s art work has been the story teller of spiritual search. Since 2010, her work has been gradually moving into a more carnal expression. She exploring not just the flesh, but that of the canvas as well. The figure is still present in a more abstract way.
Angela Alés: The art of giving birth
by Roxana M. Bermejo
Water on top of you … and salt. And the remote
sunlight that does not reach you. The life
from your chest does not pass; in you it collides and bounces
and then it goes astray, lost,
to the side-to one side…
Dulce María Loynaz,
“Song for the sterile woman”
Angela was born a woman. It does not matter where or when. It could be said that her whole life has been sifted from searches small and large, absolute or tentative. Angela has always looked for concepts, pursues them with a fierce spirit and finds them. Yes, most of the time she does find them. What comes next is not a simple process to describe: Angela begins to call everything by its name; she sees the fish and names it “fish,” then humanizes it and loves him, loves him as carnally as we love in winter, when the selfish skin of our bodies go to other cold bodies in search of warmth
Angela likes borders. Not the ones that are drawn on the map and divide nations and flags. Angela knows little of that kind of meaningless fragmentation, which therein she proves absurd; Angela is part Colombian, part Andalusian, and part Lebanese. But Angela, I repeat, loves borders, those that make each character unique in the unstable plane of life; those that define an inside and an outside before the eyes of every creature. On the walls, we can find that solid, michelangelesque figure that Angela offers us, the concrete blue figure that represents a man mined by the invasion of sharp and slippery thoughts. That man is matter in its basic state; it is iron, fire, the face of an ancestor and a ladder. Angela brings him to us, brings him just as religions of any kind are brought into the world. And we begin to trust that vulnerable being who looks out into the empty void looking for an answer; the “calm resistance” that he offers is more than enough to believe in him. And how not to believe in that other figure of a saint, which closes in on herself to give us “Refuge?” How I would love to penetrate this world of ocher, crestfallen brush strokes! Being part of that scene, getting lost in the swirling labyrinth of its waters.
I find in the work of Angela, as well, the swollen sea, a sea of corals that become attributes of peace or conquest. It is easy for those who observe these oils to drink a little of their water, which will never be smooth or still, but violent and hazy, of the same consistency as foam when the wave bursts against the rock or dissolves on the shore. Angela believes in strength and balance, she is always looking for them, like how she, as aforementioned, searches for concepts. The balance in her work is an intertwined mental and physical peace. Angela defends our right to feel carnally, however, she also knows that each body is but an extension of the universe. That is why, perhaps, most of the time the artist shows us limbless subjects: So that nothing binds us, nothing unites us together…
Thus, slowly, between concepts and phrases, parables and self-absorption we come to understand the world of Angela, which is the world of any woman, my world. Do not look for an answer within it, look for the question and if you dare, throw yourself into the framework of sensations that her female painting provokes, which is not female by pink or light lilac tones, but by the courage to give birth to water and earth, the courage to create life and manipulate it.
About the personal exhibition “Intersectionality” by the artist Angela Alés. The show will take place at the Kendall Art Center as part of “Three women’s view”, an exhibition that will open on August 10, 2018. KAC, since its creation, has dedicated an important space to highlight the work of women artists and on this occasion offers us a show articulated only by women: a great opportunity for the audience from Miami.
*Fragment of the poem “Farewell”, by Pablo Neruda.
Roxana M. Bermejo, Havana, 1992. Historian and art critic. Graduated in Art History from the Faculty of Arts and Letters of La Universidad de La Habana. She works as a publisher of an academic journal with an independent profile Art-Sôlido. Worthy for her book Bitácora del sujeto ausente, First International Novel of Poetry University Miguel Hernández Chair Miguel Hernandez University of Elche, Alicante (Spain, 2016). Participant in various national and international events, related to the Caribbean and Latin American culture. Her texts have been published in spaces such as the magazine and Tabloid Artecubano, AMANO: Oficio & Diseño, FullFrame, Art OnCuba, and the digital film portal Cuba Now.