Nikisi Project-Miami

By Rafael López-Ramos

Art Pulse Magazine

Coinciding with the Art Basel Miami Beach fair, Carlos Rodríguez Cárdenas presented his personal show The Journey of the Conquest at the Nkisi Project space, curated by Bernardo Navarro with the collaboration of José Bedia. Since the mid-1980’s, Cárdenas’ work has been characterized by exquisite and ironic artistry, which has served him as much in representing the eschatological and social themes he exhibited at the 1989 Havana Biennial; as in capturing the tranquil urban and architectonic reflections that he now presents to us.

Metaphors relating to construction and architecture have been a constant in his oeuvre since the end of that decade. Let us recall, for example, Construir el cielo, the painting where a half-finished, blue, brick wall on a black background cast an ironic glance at the contradictions of institutionalized utopia; while the piece of body art Mi casa es mi cuerpo -black and white photograph of the artist with bricks drawn on his torso and face- made reference to social conflict stemming from the lack of housing in densely-populated major cities, such as Havana.

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