This real story crosses the interface between parallel universes of the human creation. Havana’s Sunday use to be a quiet day when people visit friends, family, and spiritual leaders of our more than 400 religions. Last Sunday was different for me, because a scientist had told me, a day before, that I had lost my time reading critical assessments on Velázquez, Goya, Da Vinci, impressionists, and every kind of theories on aesthetics. After an awful discussion, he finally told me that I had been decades looking for a “Santo Grial” of the pictorial art that has been at 50 meters from my studio. And here I am! Looking at a set of oil on canvases that represent tropical landscapes and still life in a clinic where pregnant receive highly qualified and customized attention 24 hours a day.
I don’t know titles, subjects, significances, dimensions, and author, but something is for sure: every line is a mystery, and I don’t know why. Composition, balance, contrast, and the development in-depth of natural scenarios are undeniable visual evidences of a great pictorial mastery, but my intuition suggested me that something was far beyond my background for art appraisal. He or She didn’t care light at all! Why? This could only be intentional if the artist enjoyed a monumental interior life that has guided him/her to very deep and exceptional state of the conscience where the surrounding reality has lost relevance for him/her, while he/she is painting. I mean, the message could be a dominant entity that subordinated every formal issue to the transference of feelings from the artist to the viewer. Of course, I thought: “I must know this artist”, while the conjuration of three words was enough to introduce me in a parallel universe. My soul abandoned my body when I heard the tender voice of a triplet pregnant. The lady had been looking at me and smiling when finally decided to tell me: “He is blind!”
After recovering my capacity to articulate rational thoughts, I decided to take a break and finding relevant questions to analyze this unexpected reality: a blind master. Maybe, first of all, this artist seems to be demonstrating that beauty is not only visual, but also sensorial and intuitive, which move us suddenly into the depth of an existential question. What sensorial capacities will need humankind for surviving out of the earth? Living in dark, unexplored, and hostile environments will require more than two eyes, and the remaining human sensorial capacities will be useless. It would be more than justified finding pieces similar to “Relief No. 285”  or “Untitled 2006” and “Untitled 2010” [2, 3], because the artist can’t see his artwork, and he need to perform a huge effort to imagine scenarios, compositions, colors, and the final result. On the contrary, this artist penetrates into the surface of every detail transferring to the viewer a message that is far beyond any known theoretical development, because the viewer rejects the first ideas that cross his mind: “I can’t believe what I am thinking, because it is not possible. How can he create visual beauty?”
- Sergio Camargo, Relief Nº 285, 58 7/8 x 40¾ in. (149.50 x 103.50 cm.), oil on wood construction, “Camargo, Paris 70, n.285”, 1970.
- José Damasceno, Untitled, 11 ¾ x 16 ½ in. (30 x 42 cm.), ink and spray paint on graph paper, "José Damasceno 2006", 2006.
- José Damasceno, Untitled, 16 ½ x 11 3/4 in. (42 x 30 cm.), ink on graph paper, "José Damasceno 2010", 2010.