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Evelynn Álvarez: The Woman in Flight in favor of their Cultural Identities

Evelynn Alvarez

This artist's painting addresses, in a certain way, the theme of the African presence in the Caribbean, while reflecting behaviors of the female universe based on an analysis of herself.

Evelynn Alvarez Cuba

Visual artist Evelynn Álvarez explores the guidelines of painting where everyday characters appeal to manners, as well as the use of expressions of folklore and clichés, but defying cultural conventions.

In her pictorial productions she interweaves aspects of her specific situation, since she is a woman and a mixed race, and she dumps this on the canvases, although she also collects it in actions, videos and performances.

According to critics, this Cienfuegos woman is focused on the formation of cultural identities and personality as a legacy. In this eagerness, she reconstructs the ways of behavior of the female universe from an analysis of herself. But it does so in a contemporary context.

The participation in the XIII Biennial of Havana, in 2019, where he produced the production of Liquid Scenario, within the Sociocultural Project Behind the Wall, located on the Malecón and its surrounding areasañayes His collection Femme Fatale in which he outlines “the Cuban mulatto - stereotype of our cultural mix, captivated by the garment with ornaments similar to Gustav Klimt, that Viennese painter who was torn between reality and the illusion of Belle Epoque”, According to the assessment of the Cuban curator Lázara Menéndez.

In this collection, he uses the mixed technique on fabrics of variable dimensions. On them he portrays faces of the Cuba of these times. It abounds in fundamental situations or behaviors that the culture has built. It is as if it combines between the present and the ancestral past, with myths and reality in the same space and context.

“Oshún appears to them, the presence of Yemayá is in them. It is a direct transcription of the traditional serving the Orishas, ​​but exposing a portion of the lives of these women with shades of divinities ”.

This is how the journalist Orlando Hernández expresses it in the catalog of the collective exhibition The wind that does not disturb the leaves of the forest can't guide the rain.

"It is no secret that our social body has many wounds," says the artist who somehow recognizes her approach to the issue of the African presence in the Caribbean.

“It is palpably, deeply felt and has many faces. It has a link to her history as a mestizo. That is why she shows certain ailments and suggests possible paths to follow ”.

So Waldo Leyva said in the exhibition catalog Between the traveler and the light.

In turn, this critic identifies the existence of the pulse of Africa in Femme Fatale because it produces a mixture of humanism and blackness. At first glance it appears to contain an ornamental purpose, but the spiritual dimension appears when the eye pauses and analyzes. Then much more complex claims come to light, underlining the universal and multicultural validity ”.

The language in these paintings achieves a corpus coherent and a communication through different methods of narration or presentation, since it combines cultural, historical and partly autobiographical associations. This is where the author and the protagonists of the paintings extend their reign.

“Her images refer to those in fashion magazines or the aesthetic trends of places where popular art is traded, but she relies on color and visionary sensibility, as well as in the air and the content of her actions and performances. Perhaps that is why her work awakens the senses and directs the public towards different readings without following an appearance imposed by the market ”, says the sociologist Guillermina Ramos, in an analysis on the representation of the miscegenation of women in art [1].

In group exhibitions Evelynn Álvarez has participated in the International Biennial of Art of Bolivia; in the VI Salon of Contemporary Cuban Art, of the Center for the Development of Visual Arts in Havana, and in the Imago Mundi Collection, of the Luciano Benetton Foundation, in Treviso, Italy.

She contributes to the immensely productive and fruitful visual production of Cuba, beyond the value judgments issued at different times.

  • [1] Ramos, Guillermina. The color white, blue, green, and the color of my skin, (April 2008): 12-18.

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