A Fertile Universe: Tomás Esson’s Miami Flow

On the kitch, scatology, and blunt force of Esson’s art, and his recent show in Miami

Published: April 25, 2017

Installation view of  Tomás Esson: Miami Flow  at Fredric Snitzer Gallery

Installation view of Tomás Esson: Miami Flow at Fredric Snitzer Gallery

Janet Batet surveys the art and career of Tomás Esson, and the tormented, mythological beings, erogenous plant life, and other motifs that populate his art, including the show that just closed in Miami.

Miami Flow is the title of Tomas Esson's latest solo show, recently presented at Fredric Snitzer Gallery in Mimai. The concise and at the same time exuberant exhibition includes six colossal paintings and an installation, composed of a series of drawings from the series Wet Painting. This work goes beyond the physical limit of the frame to become an immersive installation that overflows its boundaries.

Tomaás Esson Reid (Havana, 1963) is undoubtedly one of the most forceful painters in contemporary Cuban art. Esson`s indisputable technical mastery makes the contemplation of his work a delight, always. Paradoxically, both this pictorial ecstasy and its savoir-faire are inevitably shaken by the issues that the work addresses, with kitsch, scatology, and violent elements emerging as leitmotifs Esson's pictorial entities are visceral portraits of that caged anguish that is human existence: vulvas, penises, jars, ejaculations, spit, pubic hair, and indescribable beings who share the tormented condition of beast and demigods, simultaneously animals in heat and spiritual beings.

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