Moisés Finalé

Moisés Finalé: Enigmas of the Creation

Last modified: March 24, 2023

As he stands in front of his pictorial creations, the spectator is moved by so many enigmas… To look at them is like visiting the house of Penthesilea, the Renaissance’s fortune-teller, or like walking around the Ancient Egypt. It is to live as if we were in another state of the body and the soul, in a strange place where we lived once and the awareness of which surprises us; or as if we were, all of the sudden, before a vision that reunites the universal geography and its cultures. It is, in a few words, as if we were watching our own abduction reflected in a mirror.

Born in Cárdenas, Matanzas, in 1957, Moisés Finalé give the viewer his ideas of a journey through time that includes the inner being of the Man. There is no doubt, during these years of intensive work, the artist has created an original “puzzle” where we as well will be the protagonists as we “solve” it by putting together the images, which come  from the most absurd and beautiful inventory, born from a world-view that is… impossible? Unthinkable?

During that original artistic journey the creator studies the cultural identity. His pieces represent remote places which he builds in his mind and then takes to the canvas. He paints what his eyes see –even on the inside-, and establishes a game of semantic and pictorial images that awake multiple evocations on the observer. And the textures/forms/situations that his paintings’ characters, objects and backgrounds evoke appear to arrive from different epochs lived by the Man throughout his path on Earth.

Moisés Finalé graduated from the National School of Art (ENA) in 1975, and from the Superior Institute of Art in 1979. He has walked a long road to arrive to this point. Although to tell the truth, since his professional beginnings, back in the 1980s (a period during which he was one of the most interesting exponents), the artist was already producing one of the most powerful, personal and expressive works of the Cuban plastic arts. And he has become richer as years go by.

His works do not follow a specific trend; he drinks from the Japanese culture, from the Egyptian symbolism, from the expressionism, from the fauvism, and from the Cuban vanguard. He harmonizes all the methods that he has known during his professional life. He uses the codes of modern and postmodern art without distinction, and he constructs the images with diverse techniques and treatments. A traditional combined technique, a distortion of the line or a sharp stroke, a paint freely disposed and sometimes dripped, an informal stroke, and even some drawing from childish expressions can glide down his baroque surfaces while brimming with, and adding, themes that have already been used in previous series, and which are related to his visions of the art’s universal history, the religious icons, the typology of humans from the surrounding areas, the animals, and the ordinary objects.

The artist, who in 1983 founded the group 4×4 with other creators, and integrated the project Trayectoria Cubana -headed by the French critic Pierre Gaudibert-, counterposes techniques, materials, forms, strokes and tones; he reaches a valuable visual texture which is co-protagonist of these stories, in which the ethnographic, anthropologic references are also present; they are combined with very intimate experiences. All of this qualify a pictorial system that uses various syncretic mythical elements, biblical figurations and symbolic objects. A system where different beings wander. Beings that look for each other, talk to each other, or just give us some incredible anecdotes with a vocabulary of gestures, looks and facts that we perceive as ordinary. Sometimes the paintings’ backgrounds are the same figures, characterized by a gestural freedom. The work of this artist has no frontiers, not even in the narrow limits of canvases or wood, fabrics, where the acrylic is blended with mixed techniques and even metal. Everything serves to transmit and create.

Vibrant and warm multitudes of colors boil in the network of his paintings. The luminous glows are organized in refined contrasts of temperature and tone. The rubbed backgrounds –without harm for the architecture-, and the armor of precise, direct, decided and quick gestures are created by the elegance of a firm hand, intelligently trained to retain fugacious impressions. Moisés Finalé’s painting can be described this way.

By the end of 2020, the wise creator presented the exhibit Fiesta de mascaras with X Alfonso and Maden Morgan as guest artists. The event was held at the Artis 718 Gallery, on the corner of 7th and 18 Street, in Miramar, Havana.

Toni Piñera
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Journalist for more than 30 years at the Granma newspaper, art and dance critic, professor at the National Academy of Fine Arts San Alejandro, curator of Cuban art exhibitions (former director of the La Acacia gallery, Havana), poet.

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