Life as an Endless Spectacle
Jean-Michel Ribettes *
Alfredo Ceibal is a painter of the painterly tradition. An artist from Guatemala, he practices "magic realism," a form of representation similar to the literature of Gabriel García Márquez and Miguel Angel Asturias. More precisely, his work refers to a double tradition: the oneiric domain of surrealism and the highly colored paintings of the Latin American naive. His almost narrative approach exoticizes the material aspect of human behavior and corporeal form. Ceibal depicts scenes of ritual and celebration, consummately garnered by their inherent call to death. Extremely provocative parallel realities coalesce—the grandeur of life, life as an endless spectacle and death examined at a distance without despair.
* Jean-Michel Ribettes is the Paris-based adjunct curator for the Institute for Contemporary Art, P.S.1 Museum, in New York City.