About the Artist
Born in Havana, Cuba, and living in the U.S. since 2004, Osbel Susman-Peña is a visual artist and designer. In addition to painting and printmaking, he designs theatrical sets and interiors, and was a professor of design and illustration for several years at the Superior Institute of Industrial Design (ISDI) in Havana. He is a graduate of the San Alejandro Academy of Art, Cuba.
De origen cubano, y viviendo en los EEUU desde 2004, Osbel Susman-Peña es un artista y diseñador. Ademas de pintar y hacer grabados, hace diseños escénicos y de interiores. Era profesor de diseño e ilustración por varios años en el instituto superior de diseño industrial (ISDI).
Graduo de la academia de arte san alejandro.
About Origia de Identidad
ORGY OF IDENTITIES
Being able to see nuances makes us free.
Identity seems to be a secret that reveals itself suddenly; it comes
upon us like the discovery of an evident truth only to hide again. It
eludes us by constantly transforming into something else,
contradictory, and unnarratable. Being able to see nuances, hues,
complexities, makes us free.
Approaching the notion of “identity” through the conceptual prism of
an “orgy,” presents the viewer with an ironic jest that mocks the
viewing subject as well as the object viewed. The word “orgy” may
first bring about associations with the obscene; however, I choose to
create my own connotations of the word that appeal to unions,
mixtures, agglomeration of elements and ideas, a jumble of thoughts,
chaos. Orgy is then the trigger that puts order in the chaos without
affecting its dramatic apotheosis. The color and the brush strokes
play with an orgy of genitalia-like forms that undermine any
identities that aspire to be either fixed or palpable.
The aesthetic composition plays also with the
retablo/altarpiece/tableau of life in its religious and theatrical
dimensions. These pieces interlock creating zones that expand and
contract like a sardonic caterpillar. I intervene small spaces in
different formats and wide-range of vivid colors that incorporate
sculptural and tridimensional elements of an altarpiece or a theater
set design. The exuberant flora of Art Nouveau takes here a Caribbean
tropical turn. The influence of Pop Art and Kitsch shows in the
incorporation of plastic characters of children’s games, videogames,
television, and cinema. Fiber and Installation Art creations
undermine and subvert nationalist symbols, like flags, and sacred
concepts, such as, liberty. All representations ultimately explore
the deceitful nature of the visual where the image one can see in the
mirror is always distorted and multiple.
Androgyny and fertility dominate the form and the resulting ambiguity
resists any docile interpretation. The questioning of genders,
religions, affects, traditions, and nationalist ideologies hide
behind the sinuous eroticism of an orgy with a cathartic effect and a
political twist. I appropriate icons, legends, myths, and recreate
their foundations to fit, on the same stage, components that are
dissimilar, anomalous, plural, and eclectic.
These are not flowers…
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