Carlos Goico is considered by many to be an artistic genius whose ouvre constitutes a major contribution to Dominican, Caribbean and Latin American art. I would personally add to the international art scene as well. His unique perspective and technique, his visceral, emotive style and his conscious rejection of the Art Establishment and the social order have made him an artistic force that can not be ignored. His is not merely Outsider art or Underground art, but a type of Neo-Expressionism that challenges the banality, the intellectualization and the absurdity of most Contemporary works. His is art in revolution.
Few artists, in my experience, have cultivated such an enthusiastic following as Carlos Goico – art critics, fellow artists, collectors, art students and many more. Some, though, would view his art as merely the product of a tragic life and a marginalized lifestyle. While it is true that Goico represented, in many respects, the quintessential “Outsider artist”, labeling him as such tends to diminish the importance of his contribution to the world of art. As Roberta Smith of the New York Times once noted:
what makes outsider art memorable is not its outsider origins, but a level of artistry and power that withstands comparison with any other kind of art.”
–Roberta Smith, NY Times, January 22, 2000
Yes, Carlos Goico was institutionalized for years. Yes, he was even lobotomized. Yes, he was homeless. Yes, he was rejected by the art establishment, his schools and even his family. It is important, though, to understand that the art of Carlos Goico represents a conscious repudiation of the Establishment. While he painted viscerally, almost unconsciously, with his fingers, brushes and whatever was available, it is not mindless art. It is art as revolution. Goico embraced intellectually and artistically the counter-culture street art of the late 20th century, but also the colorism and beauty of German Expressionism and North American Abstract Expressionism. He was aware of these movements and used them as a foundation for creating a unique style that also reflects the culture of the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean. In particular, his Afro-Caribbean heritage. The result is a type of Neo-Expressionism that is stylistically international on the one hand and thematically personal to the artist and his environment on the other. A wonderful melange of sacred owls, kings, clowns and diablos cojuelos – the denizens of his world – in a visceral and expressive style that would be just as at home in Europe as the Dominican Republic.
Carlos Goico was a shaman of sorts, and his followers were many. But it is only recently that a groundswell of activism has begun – a movement among his admirers to make sure that Goico is not only remembered, but that he receives due recognition for his unique body of works.
It is the aim of this website, and the included Catalogue Raisonne, to contribute to the promotion of Carlos Goico and his art.