How Catarsis is represented in Contemporary Art

How Catarsis is represented in Contemporary Art

Catarsis (Catharsis in English) is defined as the process of releasing, thereby providing relief from strong or repressed emotions. 

Synonyms of this word include: purification, cleansing, relief, but they do not include ecstasy. It is a fine line as the ecstasy is a pure feeling of joy, while catarsis is born of negative emotions at its core. 

This distinction is made clear through the artworks by Eduardo de La Cruz Guerra as he explores the relationship between pain and release through his series of "Catarsis". Almost a spiritual sequel to his previous works of "Condenado" Guerra seeks art as a way to escape the struggles of the daily life of a people in Cuba. 

The works made of recycled metal or wood, or photographs, you will see conventional materials missing from each piece. The lack of access to quality of paint and canvas required the artists to find new and innovative ways to create art regardless of circumstance.

It is need of every artists to have a release, but how does one represent this release when everywhere one looks there is pain, misery, and no solution in the future but instead more bleakness ahead? The series of Catarsis represents a struggle, a way to release the tension that has been built due to the circumstances of the Cuban country and to find small bits of escape and freedoms from the cruel reality that they face every day. 


The following words were written by the art critic Ernesto M. Sarduy Lorenzo to supplement the Catarsis Series. 

"I think, later I exist. This is the thought that strengthen us during the times in which society itself manifests itself in depression and existential crisis. Each artwork shown in the series hugs the inconformity, the lost, the drowning and the hope: they are patrons of an existentialism that is visible behind each work. 

The complexity of the dark colors, the depth, and the ecstasy captured, the backgrounds and contours complementing this harmony of cause an defect. This is when we exist, our mind has its own way of drawing each heartbeats of the day to day life that do not respect the established norms. 

This is what the series of Catarsis shows us, a sort of "hang-over from everything lived". It shows a small stop, but intense, through its pictorial technique that are centered in human tension. Views of those lacerations that are so visible within human life that as a consequence clash with the hostile environments." 

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