The Emperor (#4)
El Emperador (The Emperor) designed by Gustavo Pérez Monzón
Leadership. Success. Stability. Law and order.
Tarot - The practice of tarot emerged in Italy around the 15th century as a form of entertainment, which later spread to much of Europe. The Major Arcana are 22 individual numbered cards, each one represented by a character or symbol, such as The Fool, Death, The Wheel of Fortune, among others. Before the emergence of the printing press, tarot cards were illustrated by hand, being commissioned by artists as if they were a pictorial or sculptural work. This tradition has continued throughout history, and more recently, we have seen recreations of tarot designs made by artists such as Salvador Dalí, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, among other artists who have been attracted to the deep mysticism around the subject and the visual impact of tarot cards.
Tarot de Puntos is a piece created in 1985 by Gustavo Pérez Monzón. Before becoming part of the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, it was in the possession of the artist for decades being used as a regular tarot deck. For Pérez Monzón, there is no radical separation between art and life - the concepts and meanings of one contaminate the other, forming part of a subtle system of infinite connections. This tarot is distinguished by the use of small circular scraps of paper. Each card is an original interpretation as a collage of colored dots on the card's silver-gray background. Its distinctive dots create a sense of constant visual dynamism. The union of the points creates geometric figures, and these in turn define images that interact with others in a continuous system of meanings. Therefore, the points not only fulfill a visual function, but also a philosophical one, being the origin of all structure, the beginning and end of anything.
Gustavo PÉREZ MONZÓN is one of the most important Cuban artists of his generation, mostly known for introducing Conceptual art to his native Cuba. He first emerged in the early 1980s as part of a generation of artists loosely known as Volumen Uno, whose exhibition at Centro de Arte Internacional (1981) is considered a watershed in the history of Cuban art. Drawing influence from conceptualism and minimalism, Pérez Monzón has honed a unique sensibility towards organic materials and geometrical forms. He is recognized predominantly for his vast works on paper of dots and lines made from mixed media; large-scale line drawings carved from aluminum powder and pigment, and immersive installations of wire, stone and thread.
- 2015 Tramas (Frames) Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana, Cuba
- 2015 Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) in Miami, Florida, USA
- 2018 Rosa de Cancio Richard Saltoun Gallery London, England
- 2018 WEFTS Museum of Contemporary Art, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico