Arístides Hernández Guerrero, Ares (La Habana, 1963) cuenta entre lo más significativo del humorismo gráfico cubano de todos los tiempos. Galardonado con más de 150 premios a nivel nacional e internacional, ha desarrollado una sostenida carrera como dibujante y caricaturista que, en los últimos años, ha ampliado sus fronteras hacia otras manifestaciones del arte. Entre sus propuestas más recientes cuenta la serie Tocar madera, compuesta por pinturas, esculturas e instalaciones donde lo religioso juega un papel fundamental.
En esta atractiva colección de piezas, Ares se inspira en las puertas, elementos arquitectónicos de uso común, y en las típicas aldabas, instrumentos de metal empleados para llamar la atención de los inquilinos. Solo que dichas puertas, intervenidas por el artista, incluyen representaciones de conocidas advocaciones cristíferas (relativas a Cristo) y marianas (relativas a la Virgen María), así como imágenes de deidades o símbolos pertenecientes a los principales sistemas religiosos y ético-filosóficos de origen oriental.
Una de las principales protagonistas de la serie es Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre. El modelo iconográfico que la representa de pie sobre una medialuna infraversa (con las puntas hacia abajo), sujetando al Niño Jesús en el brazo izquierdo y con los Tres Juanes a sus pies, aparece trasformada en un gran aldabón, acompañando la imagen del yate Granma o levitando sobre un fondo de volutas doradas que nos recuerdan el cielo de la célebre pintura La noche estrellada (1889), de Vincent van Gogh, mientras, en la mitad inferior de la puerta, apreciamos unos girasoles que remiten a los heliotropos igualmente pintados por el genial pintor neerlandés en varios momentos de su vida.
Asimismo, el artista utiliza el motivo de la aldaba en diversas variantes (zoomorfas, fitomorfas, ovaladas, con forma de mano o de copón), colocándolo sobre representaciones del Cristo Pantócrator, un Buda rodeado de elefantes y la efigie del azulino Visnú, el Preservador, uno de los más importantes dioses hindúes. También las emplaza sobre representaciones anicónicas (sin forma humana), entre ellas la medialuna creciente acompañada por la estrella de cinco puntas que remiten al Islam; la Estrella de David, símbolo identitario del judaísmo, o en sustitución de la estrella solitaria en la bandera cubana. Incluso podemos ver algunos llamadores sobre un fragmento del Malecón habanero, en la parte trasera de la cabeza del artista o sobre el pecho de nuestro Héroe Nacional, prestos a “despertar” el pensamiento creativo, las enseñanzas del legado martiano o los dolorosos recuerdos que han provocado en muchos el proceso migratorio hacia tierras norteñas.
Mediante esta magnífica serie de pinturas y esculturas, Ares nos propone vías de acceso al espíritu y a la esperanza, a la poesía y al conocimiento. Al mismo tiempo, reconoce la existencia de diferentes vías de acceso hacia la espiritualidad y la fe, conceptos que trascienden el marco de lo estrictamente religioso para embeber múltiples zonas de la subjetividad y la intelectualidad.
Acerquémonos, entonces, a las puertas de Arístides Hernández. Quizás hallemos, tras sus policromadas superficies, el método ideal para (tal y como reza una de ellas) arrancarnos del pecho cuanto tengamos de cólera y horror. Ω
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