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Childhood Revisited

By Blas Valdéz

Take One

Hugo’s work takes us back to childhood and transforms us all once again into children, into little man. It makes us revisit the time when we were beginning to interact with the world around us with infinite curiosity and were at awe when faced with such common objects as a ball or a horn. Running into an ordinary box implied confronting the most exquisite mystery. Our reality was timeless, spatial, intuitive, spontaneous, non-verbal, and above all, devoid of malice. That childhood curiosity, determined partly by the absence of a mother, and therefore equivalent to a sort of consolation for that loss, was entirely innocent and playful.

Take Two

The characters in Hugo’s work seem to have woken up suddenly in a world of unusual, altered perceptions, and face the new dimensions of such ordinary everyday objects as a cup or a ball with surprise and curiosity. We have the feeling that the heroes in his paintings have ha thrilling mission of rediscovering the universe in every cup, in every balloon. If deep down we find all this familiar, it is because we belong to a generation representing a time-space rupture. With the avalance of advances in science and technology we have witnessed in recent times, it seems that we must almost daily redefine our conceptions of “far and near”, “small an big”.

Take Three

In myths and dreams, the box is a symbol of the unconscious, of obscure mysteries, of destructiveness itself, but the Lugosian characters face it with innocent curiosity in a luminous, almost playful world. Far from considering it a bomb-box, a vagina-box, a casket-box, they see it rather as a christmas-present-box, toy-box, beutiful-surprise-box. The fact is that these individuals still seem to ignore their destructive potential, their capacity to rape, torture, murder; all those beautiful surprises’ that we sometimes find, without meaning to, inside ourselves, inside the Pandora’s boxes placed in our way.


Originally published in Arte al Día Internacional, num. 113, March 2006



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Untitled, 2004

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Untitled, 2004

The Farewell, 2004
The Farewell, 2004