Women, Demigods and Jamoneros
...in precisely that order.
Andres Conde loves women. He holds them up as the best examples of humanity. Goddesses, mothers, daughters, whores, virgins, he sees endless combinations of these female archetypes in each woman. None are one dimensional, all are of equal value.
There should be no surprise in how often women turn up as deities in his work. It is obvious in the work titled, "The Moon" where the subject stands replete with a palladium encrusted halo, unashamedly nude and flashing the viewer by spreading open her cape which contains the vastness of the universe.
The feminine divine is not quite as obvious in "Guerreros Modernos" / "Modern Warriors", where La Virgen de Regla appears smoking a cigarette and La Caridad del Cobre (the patron saint of Cuba) slouches forward in her chair at a speakeasy. Joining them at the table are El Niño de Atocha, and the male incarnation of Santa Barbara. Depending on your preferred religion, Conde depicts, four saints, demigods / warriors casually hanging out in a bar. According to Conde, they are accessible figures, and he paints them as such.
The blonde in "Las Miradas" / "The Looks", stares with some petulance at the central male figure in the painting. She is clearly desirous of a much smaller box than the one she holds. A jewelry sized box it would seem. The brunette on her left looks toward the same man with a bemused expression on her lips, though her eyes tell another story. A classic love triangle at work. Figuratively and visually, he paints each situated in an angle to the other which speaks to the geometry of the situation at hand.
What's a jamonero? He's the guy squeezing a handful of the woman in green in the painting "El Chisme Del Romantico, El Enamorado y El Jamonero" / The Gossip of the Romantic, The Lover, and The Jamonero", shown below.
I asked Andres if he was the jamonero in the very detailed painting (click for a larger image). "No...I'm the romantic dancing!" I sensed a little disappointment in my guessing wrong, but knowing the man as I do, it could easily have gone either way. Sinners and saints. Men are multidimensional too.
- Stacy Conde