This series began with the work “Simply Beatiful” and was conceived and brought to life after a visit of the artist with other Cuban artists to different penitentiary institutions in Cuba with the aim of propiciating an exchange of creative and life experiences between the prisoners and the artists.
In one of these penitentiary institutions only for women in the Eastern province of Holguin Mabel met a group of women and noticed that they participated in a workshop of handicrafts in a very commited way creating plastic flowers using the trash generated in that place, and the flowers were used to decorate the institution.
This practice motivates her to a sort of intelectual and emotional confrontation with it. These flowers were absolutely kitsch since they do not imitate a natural pattern of beauty, but an industrial pattern; however being surrounded by that environment she found these flowers beautiful; perhaps the beauty she perceived was not in the object itself, but in the creative gesture of those women.
She began to think about the relativity of many conceptual pairs in art and in life: the low and high degree of literacy, what is popular or unpopular, merely decorative and exclusively artistic, ugly and nice, good and evil, sadness, profound despair and happiness.
For that reason she came up with the idea of making this work inspired by those women where she represents the portrait of a woman’s face in a desperate attitude. The presence of mechanical movement suggests the formation and deformation of this portrait from the flowers.
There are also a series of works where Mabel constantly seek for the physical beauty of individuals that alludes to the lack of identity since it represents the fake and imitation of certain individuals to be apparently well seen by different social sectors. This idea was probably conceived during a visit to Russia where she found a brutal contrast with the image of the former Soviet Union that is still preserved in Cuba whose ideology seemed to be in constant struggle with beauty and whose products were the aesthetic expression of the most absolute coarseness.
This experience undoubtedly motivated her to the creation of works with products of Russian origin where a certain feeling of longing for the remains of that culture in Cuba is still appreciated by certain groups of Cubans. Afterwards she made a group of “Retratos objetuales” object portraits, in which the artist explore the relationship among the objects of day-to-day use of certain individuals and the expression of aesthetic and identitary values of such people.
Another work of this series is “My Garden”, a much more political vision of the appearance spectrum suggesting, by means of three capsules ornamented with plastic flowers that show the colors of the Cuban flag, the idea of the creation of a sort of laboratory nation, a container nation from where it is impossible to jump; a nation that has been built on the basis of some fake appearances.