Juan Carlos Alom(Havana, 1964)

Juan Carlos Alom is a strange mix between a gypsy and a maroon, and is at the same time a cultivated artist and a street-smart man, a restless, fidgety spirit, difficult to grasp, define or characterize. His essentially drifting personality has allowed him to feel at ease in both the vortex of big cities and the solitude of mountains.

Sin palabras (Without words)

In Sin Palabras, Luisito, a popular character from Havana, serves Juan Carlos Alom as a model for the creation of this dramatic image. It is an unusual portrait, different from those taken by tourists. More than a contemporary fashion of facial decoration, the innumerable rings create an image (maybe somewhat exaggerated and imaginative) of an African recently arrived in Cuba as a slave in the 16th century and to the exotism of their customs, considered barbaric. The stoic expression on that face, full of small rings, seems to represent the long history of suffering and pain that black people have endured in Cuba and other places. The solemn, almost funereal face, as if shrouded, seems to carry a hint of resistance, almost at its limits, on the verge of turning into a scream of protest. The photo’s negative has been intentionally cut, emphasisng the character's internal suffering, creating a thick scar, a keloid that reminds us of Queloides (Keloids), that famous and problematic exhibition on prejudice and racial discrimination organized by a group of artists towards the end of the 1990s. It is a naked face, seemingly without a mask, yet it hides more than it shows.

Year: 2008
Technique: Digital print laminated on PVC
Size: 105 x 82.5 cm

Theme: colonialism violence race