MAIKEL DOMINGUEZ | HE CALLS ME DIABLO

CURRENT.

Galleri Duerr is very pleased to welcome back Cuban-American painter Maikel Dominguez with his solo show He Calls Me Diablo, including works from his exhibition Rosa Pájaro which recently opened to rave reviews at The Laundromat Art Space in Miami. 

March 13–May 8
Galleri Duerr one level down. Please enter at Linnégatan 89B.
Extended due to corona virus.
Open by appointment. We will gladly arrange private viewings. Please contact us at deborah@galleriduerr.com or tel 070-307 34 32.

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Maikel was studying at Konstfack in 2013 when we first met, leading to a collaboration and his first solo show outside of Cuba in our gallery space which was then located on Vanadisvägen. Born 1989 in Holguin, Cuba, Maikel has a B.F.A. from the University of Arts (ISA) in Havana and has studied at The Royal Institute of Art (Konstfack) in Stockholm as well as the Academy of Fine Arts El Alba in Holguin and lives and works today in Miami, Florida.

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I was skinned three times, hanging upside down from a red acacia. The first cut was circular around the ankles, on the edge of a rope made out of maguey. Since I am very thin, the skin looked as if attached to the bone. When I managed to detach myself a bit, I pulled with all my strength. At that time the terror of pain was stronger than the pain itself. Then I pulled even harder, it was the only way to shorten the moment. My skinless body was white, with pearl-like areas between yellow and violet. Some veins opened and leaked out pitch. The skin slipped from my hands as I pulled so I coiled the skin of my legs to my hands and squeezed the fists. Ironically, I that always valued myself for not being circumcised, tore my skin off three times. The skinless genitals almost disappear, if it weren’t for the drops coming out of my urethra, I would have forgotten where my sex was.

The abdomen, chest and back were very easy, which is why I understand now that that is where 90% of the shots hit. The arms were cleared with two pulls; not the hands though, I had to cut them. The skinned neck became dark and longer. The head was the most difficult, not because of how tight the skin can be to the cheekbones, but because of the fear of seeing my real face. A face without lips, nose, ears and eyelids. It’s horrible, but then you discover the unblinking eyes and you know, deep down, the one you don’t recognize, is still you. And when it all ends, what was two, is now three, forming a pendulum from the tree.

Remember when you go to the beach and only soak your feet up to your ankles?

“He Calls Me Diablo” is a love story.

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I come from a country where human rights are violated. In my country everything is politics, even art. In my country there is censorship for art outside the interests of government. My painting has always been a refuge, a space of freedom, an island within another island.

My work is also an example of survival against the cruelty of a context where human rights are violated. With my work I do not denounce an injustice, with my painting I survive injustice in a strange land. My work is not just painting on canvas, my work is attitude towards life.

My work is a process, a mental state through which I search and find happiness.

To me art is an instrument with which I can do magic, generate my own reality and establish a direct connection between each individual´s physical and spiritual world. I believe artistic creation must be rewarding and healing for the artist, only then can he offer the Object-Art as knowledge and experience.

My search is focused in the creation of a universe ruled by balance. The results are fragments, narrations of a bittersweet world, full of contrasts and cynics; pastel atmospheres where my characters find relief. In any case I draw on the idea of sacrifice and pain, not from the perspective of the quiet observer that delights himself in the anatomy of the maimed body but from that of who encourages and supports what was already dead.

Galleri Duerr had the honor of being the first gallery to present Maikel’s work in his first solo show outside of Cuba in 2013, entitled “Innan Mörker Faller / Before the Darkness Falls”. Maikel was also part of our group exhibition “Democracy Under Siege”, August—September 2019.

Born in Holguin, Cuba
B.F.A. University of Arts (ISA). Havana, Cuba (2008-2012)
Royal Institute of Art. Stockholm, Sweden (February- August, 2012)
Academy of Fine Arts El Alba, Holguin, Cuba (2003-2007)
Lives and works in United States

Documents
CV
Artist Statement
Podcast interview in spanish

Publications and Texts
Film on Maikel and his work