It is no coincidence that the Otranto Castle, by Horace Walpole, was written in 1764 inspired by the Piranesi Prisons.
A journey that began in the XVIII century and that goes from the Sublime to the Unconscious: here, then, that the monstrous and visually violent figures of Hèctor Vargas Salazar have their roots in Surrealism and, above all, in that special declination born in Mexico since the 1930s and which has found some of the leading exponents in artists such as Leonora Carrington and José Luis Cuevas.
Death, spirits and monstrous beings acquire a very special role in traditional Mexican culture, with collective rituals that are difficult for us who are on this side of the ocean to fully understand: a sort of challenge to the unknown, to the demonic and to the ancestral fears, a brazen coexistence between the local pre-colonial tradition and Catholicism imported and imposed from the sixteenth century.
An imaginative that has never lost its strength, indeed renewing itself in the instances of the 21st century and also recently adopting visual formulas close to comics and illustration.
The nightmare characters of Hèctor Vargas are the monsters of contemporary society, where - as he himself affirms - under the sophisticated appearance of the capitalist West, we are still driven by the same impulses of vital aggression of the origins of humanity. These impulses are all the more disturbing and destabilizing as they are hypocritically clothed, trying to tame them to make them socially acceptable.
As he himself explains, the exhibition offers us "nightmarish beings that manifest themselves in the Eternal City through the vision of a Mexican artist who, due to his territorial, historical and colonial condition, is also Latin