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A show of canvases offers a Gran Tour to surprise your eyes

Published: 2017.04.24 - 15:48:22   /  /  Miguel Darío García Porto  /  translated by  Luis E. Amador Dominguez  /

Traveling is always an indescribable pleasure. Starting a tour leads us to exploration, discovery and, why not, to knowledge. To this end, English travelers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries undertook the so-called Grand Tour, a journey through Europe, which is now considered to be the predecessor of modern tourism.

Although this modality was popularized by the Anglo-Saxon travelers, these were not the only ones that did it. Visits to Italy, France and Germany were commonplace for young Europeans in good standing. With the rise of Russia, many nobles of that nation began to make their particular itinerary that used to begin in Germany through Dresden and later to France or Italy.

The custom of performing a grand tour has its origins in the 16th century. Its approach as an enlightening journey could be traced back to the Renaissance, when humanist intellectuals and artists traveled to Italy to become familiar with classical culture. The first time that a trip of this type appeared referenced as grand tour was in a work of the Jesuit and traveler Richard Lassels, who in 1670 recommended an itinerary through Italy that called ‘his journey to the center of the earth’.

To that center of the journey along with others is the exhibition "Gran tour" by the young Cuban artist Marlon Portales, which is exhibited until April 28 in the central Galiano Gallery of Havana.

The creator affirms that from the concept of "gran tour" he based his work, since "in that respect he rescued the term, but with an inverted touch because it is the discovery of the trip from Cuba, for all that the exhibition inspires is the trip to the outside of the island."

According to Portales, the exhibition is composed of five subsets determined by different trips: it starts in the summer of 2015 in New York, it continues through Italy in the spring of 2016, then California in the summer, Germany in the autumn and it concludes with the winter in New York.

"All the work has been from a very personal, very intimate experience, the approach to the spaces from the photographic, the registration with the camera, also goes through the motives and in the painting is that I try to reflect that phenomenon, and to carry out so many pieces throughout the series, more than 600, you can see the evolution within the pictorial process itself and one way as a method of work is finding that path that wants to continue"- comments the author on his intentions.

Very successful is the selection of the technique of oil on canvas, because they manage to give the work of subseries an extraordinary richness from many fillings and textures, which in the end, become a quieter, cleaner, and less contrasting piece with pastel colors.

The small format used in this show contributes to forming a coherent collage, but at the same time does not minimize the individuality of each piece, and these works speak of the most intimate of each landscape, city, and trip.

"Each one of them is unique because they are part of a photograph taken in a specific place and concludes with an unrepeatable work by the way in which they are produced", says Marlon Portales.

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