Kala Boka

Article 19 of the UN convention of children's rights states 
that children should be protected from "all forms of physical or mental violence, 
injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, 
including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) 
or any other person who has the care of the child." 

Introduction by the artist

Dear readers,

For Christmas 2019 I gave my mum a special present: it was one of Guino García’s portraits, a Cape Verdean woman painted with oil on a wooden tablet wrapped up in African Wax. My mum looked at the picture and pointed out: “This portrait is beautiful but I can’t see the artist’s personality behind it.” She hadn’t taken the time to let the piece sink into her or maybe she was just hoping for an explanation, for a statement by the artist that would lead her softly straight to the heart of the piece.

I too had been waiting for this over the past 4 weeks. Then, about one week ago, Mr. Garcia told me that his introduction to the Kala Boka project would be the one that you can find quoted above. While he had passionately written about child abuse, the problem itself, his personal story remains as untold as comments on his technique and creative process.

At first, I didn’t like it, for the most obvious reason: Mr. García denies us access to the comfortable short cut that an explanatory text written by the artist is. He forces us to take the long way instead and, as it has turned out, for very good reasons: there is so much to discover in the artwork itself if we only take the time to look at it, if we only take the time to study it.

Without the artist’s guide that advices us where to linger our eyes a little longer gives us the freedom to find our own ways through it, to distinguish fields, colours and shapes that might not be the most important for the artist or other viewers but that to us, allows identification with the piece and enables us to seek something from it.

Guino’s attitude towards the explanatory texts in this exhibition couldn’t go more hand in hand with what I’m intenting with Suboart: other than a guide that leads the viewers like a tourist to the most famous spots of the place, I want it to be a gallery that allows the spectator to walk on their own paths, to draw their own connections and to take from every piece what they wish to take.

A text written by an artist about their work is often a comfortable road that takes us to the essence of the piece, a guide that tells our eyes where to linger longer and our brain what to observe more attentively. Mr. García, however, denies us this short cut and he has good reasons for it: there is so much to discover in the piece of art itself, if we only take the time to study it, if we only open the eyes for all the details, if we make the effort to recognize and distinguish the shapes and colours, the materials and composition. If we are only willing to confront a piece of art without a guide that leads us like a tourist to the most famous spots of the place yet prevents us from drawing our own connections, from discovering the work by walking our own way through it.Kala Boka, just like Suboart, is not a well planned, mature, polished, finished work, that comes with its explanatory lines, prices and frames. It´s a questioning, challenging, unfinished work in progress that carries a childlike spirit within itself, that questions and points out instead of giving answers.

May you, dear reader, adapt his pictures to your own understanding, thrivings and necesseties and may they serve you to ask the right questions and maybe, from time to time inspire answers in you too.

Thank you for your time and attention.
Please feel free to approach me for any questions regarding this beautiful exhibition.


Let the child play- deixa meninu brinka
Video, 2019

Guino García

Ba xinta Mina
Oil and Wax Print on wood
46 x 35 cm
Basta! Deixa meninu!
25 x 25 cm
Deixa menins
25 x 25 cm
Ka keston di piora
25 x 25 cm
20,2 x 22,7 cm
Pamodia meninu ta txora?
20,2 x 22,7 cm
Meninu fragil sima flor
Oil on wood
130 x 110 cm
Meninu de Flamboyán
Oil on wood panel
130 x 110 cm
Meninu lindo sima flor
Collage on paper, Artist Diary
21 x 14,8 cm

Alejandro García

Alejandro aka Guino García joined Delta Cultura in 2015 on a voluntary basis on the art program. He brought to Delta Cultura a very interesting concept of art which resonates exactly with Delta Cultura’s vision and mission. Therefore, his work with children was very influential to Delta Cultura and the community itself.

He always taught kids that art is based on one’s self free expression. By bringing together his creative mind and the children’s, he created a lot of art crafts
that could be used by the kids as toys, school materials, furniture, etc. One of his most effective influence over the children was his teaching on recycling and the capacity to turn trash into art. Before Alejandro, there was a lot of trash that was
discarded at Delta Cultura Education Center. But since he joined us, he taught us that everything that we see can be perceived and turned into art work. Even children wouldn’t discard any trash at home nor allow their parents to do so, so that they can bring it to Delta Cultura and turn it into art crafts.

Alejandro’s spirit is of a child himself. Therefore, his strong reciprocal connection with children. He knows the hard reality that children face everyday
and the many oppressions they suffer from in our community. Therefore, throughout his late work around the issue of violence against children, I can truly perceive the pain, the oppression, and the agony that children suffer in our community by the hands of parents, teachers and people who believe that violence is an educational tool.

But Alejandro’s work went beyond Delta Cultura’s perimeters and it influenced more people on the community. One of his work was around the beauty of capeverdean women and the strong spirit of single parent women who dedicate every single day of their lives struggling to bring food to their table for their children. His illustrations of these women resonate with the true identity of capeverdean women.

Alejandro’s paintings are very subjective. As he claims himself, “a painting can be whatever your eyes see”. I believe that it is a way he finds to communicate with the audience: in a language that both, himself and the audience, would understand.
His late work on violence against children, one can clearly see what the painting aims to show. One can perceive a lack of identity and the conflict between innocence and maturity, as well as the consequences of negligence and abuse.

Alejandro is loved throughout his work and by his unique personality. His painting gives voice to the voiceless and power to the powerless. His kind heart
is reflected in the kind smiles and looks that his paints display on every kid and women that he paints.

By Gilson da Costa
A friend and a true admirer of his work