Wednesday, June 13, 2012
From my blog (The Art Reviewer) June 7, 2010
Nicholas Cueva is an artist that plays in the realm of Dada experimentation in sculpture and micro-apocalyptic themes in impasto style paintings. Cueva recent 3D objects attempt to desculpture the objects through the adding of paint on the found and manipulated structures. I see a lot of Rauschenberg influence in the 3D objects because of the use of the ready-made that has been manipulated, John Baldessari in some of the figure painting because of the figures that have been blocked out into silhouette shapes, and Cindy Sherman in the photography especially in the 'Model' series in which Cueva's images feel a little like stills from a movie. I also observed a Anthony Goicolea like photography titled 'Catch.' Now one might say that because I see all these artists in the work that work is derivative, but I think Cueva has been very wise to know contemporary artists and try out some of the forms. These influences all feel like they are on the cusp of taking off into interesting directions. The paintings of landscapes, the 'Rite' paintings, and the 'Model' series are the strongest work. The informal style of painting my be a little messy, but I am attracted to the work. I think the sculptures are to quickly though-up and executed. Cueva's sculptures lack the time and elaborateness of craft that the Neo-Dadaist used. The paintings and photos seem to have more craft, thought, and time behind them.