Sometimes we become something else in order to adapt to our surroundings, to get what we want, to be liked or to survive. Somehow we all have an actor within and I think that that’s one of the most basic characteristics of human nature. This drawing has to do with that idea. The man in the picture is in this costume imitating a casawary (a large bird) in a ritual to attract animals. He has to feed his family and this is a primitive way for him to get what he needs.
How many times have you found yourself not being yourself? How many times have you said what you didn’t mean? I don’t think that it is human to be transparent to the point where you say exactly what there is in your mind. We are too fragile to expose ourselves 100%. We feel the need to protect ourselves all the time. So let’s say that up to a certain point it is completely fine to act. What I think that it is not good is when we lie to ourselves. How many times have you been in some kind of bad situation where you know that something is wrong but you want to convince yourself that everything is OK? In that case you’re fooling yourself, you’re acting against yourself. This happens in such a subtle way. The thing is that because it is only you in the play it is hard to step back and see what’s going on with you from the distance.
This drawing was part of a show that I did with Anamaria McCarthy in Havana in 1999.
I am going to include it in my solo show next month. But I don’t really want to sell it because it means the world to me. I always say that art has a curative quality and this drawing saved me around the time when I created it. It helped me step out of myself and see all the things that I had to change in my life.