Untitled, 1965, by Alberto Valdés
I’m not easily mesmerized.
But how can you not be drawn in by swirls,
angles and whorls brought together to obey
a field of moving colors layered, muted ...
others bright that make you linger
Just look at those Carpaccio reds.
Right then my mind
leaps to Cezanne:
his dark-blue vest in Self-Portrait (1879–1880);
the Seven Bathers (ca. 1900) wallowing in blue;
his blue beyond in Château Noir (1904).
Consider now the three, or is it four figures
in Alberto Valdés’s Untitled (ca. 1965).
They are wayward energy, moving right
to left (the right one more sensuous than the rest)
about to dive
into the deep-blue waiting — call it the unknown.
I’d like to be there when they meet that blue abyss
Will they keep their shape, I wonder,
or break up and rearrange themselves
into a brighter, more memorable pose
... into a bigger elemental thing?
I’m really asking this:
When they run into the landscape of blue,
will these figures lose their logic of luster?
Will they lose their lucid argument of color,
their accumulated wealth of geometry?
Will they still engage the entire me,
keep me mesmerized?