Pozas Cuirser For Everyone | Arte Laguna Prize

“Cruiser for Everyone” | Arte Laguna Prize Best-Seller artist POZAS on view in a Solo Exhibition in Venice




Until June 11th, the cultural association MoCA Modern Contemporary Art presents a new solo exhibition in Campo San Luca: “Cruiser for everyone”. The spotlight is on René Monzón Relova, alias Pozas, finalist of the 16th edition of Arte Laguna Prize and best-seller artist of the exhibition at the Arsenale Nord. First of all, welcome and thank you for granting us this interview today.


From the exhibition at the Arsenale Nord to this solo exhibition in Campo San Luca, Venice: you are going through a rather exciting period! Did you expect this success?

No, no, I didn’t expect it at all.I searched the internet and the Arte Laguna Prize call appeared. I checked it and I said “Well, I’ll send some artworks and let’s see what happens”. I didn’t expect any of this, and seeing the good reception with “Cruiser for Everyone” was a pleasant surprise, of course. It was very exciting for me.


You have been selected as an Arte Laguna Prize finalist with the painting “Cruiser for everyone”. What are the main themes of this work?

It has different meanings depending on the interpretation of the viewer. I like when each one gives the meaning he wants. So then I don’t impose my criteria, it is better when someone decides what he sees. For me, there are two ways. The ship moves horizontally but we never perceive the vertical part. We always stay in the horizontal part that is studying, getting a job, a salary, forming a family, having kids, buying a house, a car… That is the horizontal growing, the ship sailing through the sea. We don’t perceive another important movement, one that we need as humans: the vertical movement. It helps us in being simply aware that we are not eternal, that we are all going to die. Then, when someone internalizes that we were born, we survive and eventually die, then we stop being so attentive to the ship’s horizontality. We start thinking about the things that bring us peace, and stop the circle of repeat and repeat. In conclusion, you discover who you are in this life. That is the idea. And also that we are all together in that ship, regardless of being rich or poor, if we were born in Namibia, in Zimbabwe, or in Europe. We are all together on that ship. So then, why all that difference? Why all that fighting, if at the end, we are all there? 


“Cruiser for Everyone” is also the title of your solo exhibition in Venice. Can you tell us how this project started?

The concept of the painting started ten years ago. I didn’t really decide it. I always say that life decided it, that life went through me. The work was also determined by my son and his way of thinking, his complex and fascinating mind. Rene’s mind drives me crazy! I seeked a way to find what was inside Rene’s head. I researched and studied and with it, a new era of the paintings was opened. In conclusion, the artworks are a representation, a sublimation of my conscience, of the mental state I was in to find out who my son is. For me, it has been an amazing discovery of myself too.

All these paintings are a message that should reach people. MoCA plays a very important role in this goal. Maybe people don’t see it yet because it is a bit difficult to perceive but I see it as a message that is inside of a bottle. It’s necessary that the bottle bumps into a ship and someone from “Cruiser for everyone” sees it. They see it, take it and open it. And when they open it they experiment something different, something out of the Samsara that we are used to repeat and repeat. It’s to break the jails of the mind. I think that MoCA can help, of course, it can play a great role.


The displayed artworks seem to give a contemporary interpretation of Surrealism. What artists and Movements have actually influenced you?

René Magritte has always influenced me. Magritte places at the centre the human being. His life, which was a difficult one, put the focus on humans. I removed it. That’s the difference. My other inspirator is Jodorowsky. Alejandro Jodorowsky is a writer, a painter, that has things that take out of my confinement! And I love it. Other inspiring personalities are not artists but they were essential in this weird way that my son opened, as I always say, he told me “Dad go right there!” (laughs). The inspiration was also in Buddhist philosophy, the stoics, Seneca, Marco Aurelio… Then I have a big list of psychiatrists that also went with me all the way long, because I was never alone – that way is very difficult to walk alone. I could always count on them. Not only from an artistic point of view, but also physiological, philosophical, and psychiatric. I thank them a lot. And the internet was important too because it gave me the opportunity to reach them. 


You have a particularly interesting personal history. As an electronic engineer in Cuba, you weren’t supposed to pursue a career in art. What happened then? When did you feel that this was your path?

[he laughs] My dad was a doctor, my mum a teacher and I had to be an engineer. That’s all. Simply that. I’m not a victim of anything of course. They did their part and I did the thing I could. I studied for seven years, I finished the degree and then I tooked the brush and then took it again! I started painting in the streets, in front of Habana’s Cathedral selling little paintings to the tourists. And that ‘s all. I survived like this. Like this I financially supported my family in that hard time. I was very happy at that time. What they wanted were landscapes. Now it has nothing to do with that but that’s how I started. My dad didn’t agree that I entered an Art School; I had to be an engineer to earn a bit of money. And that ‘s okay! It ‘s not wrong! That is also perfect. Those studies have helped me in my life.


Was it more difficult to stand out as a self-taught artist?

Yes. I think art is difficult for any artist. Independently if you have a diploma. The superstructure where we are requires diplomas, but it’s true that it is difficult for any artist to stand out, to be distinguished. My experience was like it was. The one of an artist. A rollercoaster. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but that’s the fascinating fact! Uncertainty! What is an artist without uncertainty? What is life without uncertainty? It is nice to live life with uncertainties. At least you have something to tell. That’s what I think.


What are your upcoming projects? What are your wishes for the future?

The future! As I was saying before, it is necessary that somebody from the “Cruiser for everyone” finds the message in the bottle. If people find it and they open it and they say “Wow! so weird! This thing is so distant from what I used to think, to believe!” It’s something that goes down from the mind to the body. And as I cannot control the future nor the past, then let’s see whatever life gives to me!

Concerning my current projects, now I’m in the cave. It is my artistic project. My idea is to make a house of the arts. A place where I can put in everything that comes to my mind and make a kind of house where people can come in and see. That’s what I have now. Then I will see what happens. I think with the new exhibition in Venice, new doors will open and then I will hook into anything that comes. 


And we wish you all the best for your future and thank you again for this interview!

Thank you so much!