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Juan Miguel Pozo Cruz

“Born on Cuba and currently residing in Berlin, the painter Juan Miguel Pozo Cruz (*1967) pursues a mythological, narrative pictorial language in his work that distinctly rejects the discursive, instead seeking the symbolic significance of personal and collective memory. Lost mythologies intermingle with the legends of large cities. Alongside a tangible enthusiasm for the historical and anecdotal on Berlin’s streets and the facades of its buildings, the fragile, sun-drenched beauty of Havana also comes through in his formal compositions: On Pozo’s canvases, multiple layers of colour and different painting techniques overlap with one another. Broken surfaces and deliberate gaps are reminiscent of peeling plaster, creating surfaces that are both timeless and nostalgic. His strictly conceptually structured compositions combine motifs – some of them original, others he has found – with frequently recurring graphical elements. They bear traces of the visual propaganda of totalitarian regimes and their characteristic ambivalence between utopian beliefs and stagnation – Pozo reflects upon a certain iconography which has long been part of western mass culture, but refrains from making political statements.

Pozo has been associated with the Leipzig School thanks to the surreal manner in which he breaks up pictorial spaces, but he is not a believer of L’art pour l’art, instead adhering to the assumption that human beings have to interpret because there is simply no other way. Competently he focuses on the power of visual epiphanies, which strike the observer abruptly and leave them in a state of suspense somewhere between sudden awareness and melancholic homelessness.“
Text by Julika Nehb, Editor in Chief, Kunstmagazin