Gabriel Davalos’ photographs are popular in Facebook in such a way he would have never imagined. His work has managed to get the attention of dance connoisseurs and amateurs, something arts cannot always achieve.
Undoubtedly, this digital platform allowed this journalist to reach sudden popularity and the opportunity to express his opinions through his photographs. An increasing number of virtual friends help him dream further, some others try to meet with him in person. Through Facebook he also receives invitations for new photo sessions.
As a result of his professional link with the Cuban music band Buena Fe and the Jose Marti Cultural Society, Davalos has been able to work in countries from America, Europe and Asia. It is still hard to believe he had exhibited his work first in Spain, the United States and South Korea than in Cuba, where the Spanish embassy in Havana is now inviting him to take part in a collective exhibition next Thursday, June 12, at 5:00 p.m., in its venue. The exhibit will be open for the public and has invited deluxe artists such as Cuban dancer, choreographer, professor and artistic director Lizt Alfonso, the founder of a company by her name; as well as Spanish choreographer living in Cuba, Susana Pous, from the DanzaAbierta Company. These guests will give a lecture on the market and art in dance.
Gabriel never attended a ballet performance until he started at the university. By that time he was one of those students that make everyone feel his presence with his furious interest. His friends dragged him into theater and, after the usual jokes, his insight led him to connect stereotyped dance with philosophy and with journalistic narration. For Davalos, there are no images without a message. In his work, amateur and street dancers share the credit with top level professionals, as soloists and first dancers from the Cuban National Ballet and other Cuban and foreign companies, because the important thing is not who but what, how and why.
Despite not being a dance connoisseur, Gabriel managed to apply the main principle by the father of world dance, Jean George Noverre: to use techniques not as the focus of movement, but as a means and not a purpose. Gabriel cannot avoid his vocation as journalist, not even in photography, and that’s exactly what makes his work so singular. He doesn’t build aesthetics; though he achieves beauty, he doesn’t search for perfect poses; though he makes a careful selection, he doesn’t aim at highlighting personalities; though he definitely gets great magnetism traits from his models. He conveys messages; that’s why he sometimeschooses one picture or none out of a thousand. He carefully chooses the image that can visually illustrate the message he has in mind. Therefore, he can satisfy a wide range of demands, he offers the highest “arabesques” and “attitudes”, transgressor jumps to gravity and more, he deals with boundaries not just of dance but of the spirit, loneliness, love in its many ways, rurality and urbanity, apples and discords, the educated and the popular, frustration, anxiety, hope, geographical distances and its emotive consequences, the feeling of having being uprooted, change, nostalgias, the masculine and the feminine, burdens, age and challenges.
The exhibit in Havana will display a tiny portion of Gabriel’s work; hence, all those people interested should pay a visit in his website in the popular social network Facebook.
This event will set a significant antecedent in his career and he is looking forward to exchange views. Davalos still has several ideas reserved under his sleeve. Fortunately, the walls of a gallery are not the only means for exhibiting the work of artists.