On the occasion of the 4th Edition of the Art Fair Galeristes  – the presentation of works of art by the Cuban artist Misleidys Castillo Pedroso is an invitation to meet a unique art, far removed from classical art studies.
This action reminds us that the aim of the Galerie Christian Berst[1] is to bring artists, collectors and visitors together. Thus by promoting cultural actions around works produced by subjects – so-called autistic and psychotic presenting pervasive personality disorders – and artists, a dialogue is established between the different components of art, taken from our modernity.

The pictorial works of the artist Misleidys Castillo Pedroso show a representation of the world in which the artist can find her own accommodation. If the image is silent, it is a space where a singular invention is unfolding while capturing events of the artist’s life. The visitor is taught by what the subject sees, feels and by what he gives to look at her singular modality of being in the world.


Misleidys Castillo Pedroso was born in Cuba (1985), with a permanent hearing impairment. Her father leaves home while she was still a very young child. As her behavioral development  showed some disorders,  her mother had to place her in a specialized institution. Then the symptoms of autism became clearer, she has to leave it. She, since lived at home, in total social isolation except for the links she maintained with her mother and her younger brother. Misleidys Castillo Pedroso shows a particular attraction for colored pencils and the water-based paint she uses for entertainment. One day, she started to paint male figures with marked facial features and protruding muscles. She drew them by gradually increasing their size until they exceeded the human scale and began to cut the outline to stick it on the walls of her room and then on those of other rooms in the house. applying them with brown scotch strips. Over time, the young woman also painted fauns, demons, animals and increasingly emphasizes the anatomical details by representing the organs in partial section.

A stopgap

Art in our modernity seems to distinguish itself from the art of sublimation. Following Lacan[2], the art does not turn away from the world, but much from the imaginary resemblance. If, for Freud, the work of art comes to plug the hole, the work of art  for Lacan seems to show, or even exhibit the void, i.e. the absence.

The artist by her knowledge of dealing with the real frees herself from the specular resemblance and the signifying chain, nevertheless she has no word to name it. These representations are reduced to the function of sign, indexing what amounts to the same place – a presence against a background of absence, namely here her  artistry in dealing with the real.

The treatment of the real by the letter

More recently, Mileidys Castillo Pedroso represents her characters wearing underwear clearly differentiated. The “men”[3] wear simple briefs often struck with the monogram of the letter “T” in a diamond-shaped badge. Likewise, her “women” put on a bikini bottom, protruding, but in lace and in the shape of a heart surrounding the letter “E”. Yet Misleidys does not know how to read or write and uses simple gestures to communicate with her family[4]. The mysterious symbols “T” and “E” remain forever indecipherable symbols.

The artist seems to treat le non-rapport sexuel with la lettre hors-sens. Here the work of art shows nothing but the image. It is pure presence of a singular object in the field of the visible.

The act of the artist

Here, the spectator is convened into the work of art. The body comes into play. The object divides and does not fail to plunge the spectator into a certain intranquility. Although there is not necessarily a play with the signifier, there is the core of the signifier reduced to the letter and the capture of the gaze.

One more visual jouissance summons the viewer by promoting the affect of anxiety. “What do I see” he might ask.

The creation aims at the exceptional, the unique. The work, sometimes, imposes itself by its outsized shape.
The work of art in artistic practice captures the pure essence of the act of which the author cannot say anything. It offers itself in state – structured like a language – it is a projection of the unconscious in the open air, it becomes object. If, the work of art seems uninterpretable, it operates – however – a double revelation. By its surprise effect, it catches the viewer at the most intimate joint by interpreting it. In other words, the strangeness[5] seen by the viewer can seize it, by housing it in a certain intranquility.

The act – as a silent trace of the drive, is written – pure exteriority – of an artistry with the inexpressible in a relation to the unmanageable world. The artistic practice becomes a pictorial medium from which content and forms emerge as a juxtaposition of full and empty, black and white, intense and vivid colors, proof of a practice of emptying an excess.
The artistic production attests to a singularity in the artist where the encounter with the real as a point of illegibility is tied to the election of an object, even a particular medium. The act of the artist seems to be caught in an incessant movement that nothing can stop. Emerging immediately, he broke in. As such, the work of art constitutes a singular treatment of the real through the image[6].


© Misleydis Castillo Pedroso, courtesy Christian 
Berst Art Brut Gallery (2019)[*]
© Misleydis Castillo Pedroso. Untitled, circa 2015
Gouache on paper.

[*] 4th Edition of the Art Fair Galeristes at Carreau du Temple, Paris, France (2019).

[1] Galeristes (2019) : Christian Berst Art Brut, interviewed by  Léa Chauvel-Lévy (2016).

[2] Gérard Wajcman, (2012), Retour vers le réel (4), L’objet du siècle, éd. Verdier poche

[3] new images of man, blum & poe gallery, los angles, curator: alison m. gingeras, from 1st February to 14th March 2020.

[4] Christian Berst, personal communication.

[5] Freud, S., Das Unheimliche.

[6]  Jean –Claude Maleval, April 2019,  private communication.