Provocative Pioneros in Santa Fe
"Six child-sized figures, with the wizened, wrinkled faces of the elderly are dressed in children's school uniforms of red and white, with blue kerchiefs tied around their necks. At the verbal cue, " Pioneros por el comunismo", (pioneers for communism) - the child figures raise their hands to their foreheads in salute and respond, "Seremos como El Che", (We will be like Che). Los Pioneros, a work of kinetic sculpture by artist Aurora Molina, is the provocative installation that gallery Conde Contemporary of Miami brings to ART Santa Fe this summer. Los Pioneros evokes school children in communist Cuba, every morning the children, known as Pioneros, line up to pledge themselves as pioneers for communism who would grow up in the image of Ernest "Che" Guevara. The child like size of the pieces, which are mechanized, adds to the sense of unease surrounding the piece. A light sensitive mechanism triggers the call and response phrases. Molina chose to age the faces of the children to represent the age that the original pioneros would now be. As a child in Cuba, Molina was herself one of these pioneros dressed in uniform. Following her father's emigration from Cuba, she and her family became targets of retribution, including a humiliating moment for Molina when she was stripped of her blue handkerchief in front of the rest of her class during the morning school ritual. Both a personal and a larger historical story come vividly to life in Los Pioneros. Along with this installation by Molina, who grew up in La Habana and emigrated to the United States at age 16, Conde Cotnemporary brings new and exciting work of several other contemporary Cuban artists to ART Santa Fe. Andres Conde, who came to Miami via Spain in 1983, will exhibit selections from his ongoing series, SOCIAL based on the iconic Cuban magazine that ran from 1976-1938. For the series Conde is creating 240 imagined magazine cover for the years between 1938 and the beginning of the revolution in 1959. Conde's SOCIAL was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal. Conde Contemporary will also bring the work of three young Cuban artists, Darian Rodriguez Mederos, Raiman Rodriguez Moya, and Luis Enrique Toledo del Rio. These three boys grew up together in Santa Clara, Cuba where they spent much of their time in the studio of Toledo del Rio's father, artist *Enrique Toledo. All three are featured in a new documentary film, Alumbrones, which will be shown at ART Santa Fe. The work of Toledo del Rio, who lives and works in Santa Clara is magical realism- evoking dreamscapes through meticuloous use of color and shadow. Recently relocated to Maimi, Mederos focuses on realist and hyperrealist portraiture, particularly focused on the expression of his subject's eyes. Moya, currently living in Spain, creates portraits of deep emotion, interpreting his subject's inner life sensitively onto the canvas."