Tragic Beauty is Cuban Artist's Hallmark


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George and the Dragon
  • George and the Dragon

Amidst the incredible works that adorn the walls and fill the halls of Cleveland’s 78th Street Studios, one finds Augusto Bordelois. With all the chaos and hardship in the world, the Cuban artist says he is not interested in “painting picnics.”

Bordelois’ paintings are characterized by voluptuous figures and a mixture of bright and warm hues that delight the eye and exude a dreamy beauty. However, beneath the aesthetically pleasing exterior of the work lies a powerful message unique to each canvas.

In one series, Beautiful Girls and Boys in a Peacock Cage exposes its underlying message through Ralph Laurenesque attire. The exaggerated size of bows and neckties echo the proud peacocks that share the caged space. Like the peacocks, these beautiful people are similarly trapped and pigeonholed by stereotypes of the well-to-do.

Bordelois also uses military visuals from the past to comment on the wars of today. In a militarily inspired series, George and the Dragondepicts the legend of the same name, but with very modern, political implications. George and the Dragon in particular questions the ethicality of a group’s decision to thrust a certain set of beliefs onto another, whether it be Christianity as in the George and the Dragon story, or Democracy.

Bordelois succeeds in painting with meaning, using beautiful images, behind which exist universal, often tragic issues.

For more information, visit —Kate Glending

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