The sad peope of Armando Cairo

Until September 23, there's an exhibition in the Zienagoog with paintings, drawings and graphics of Armando Cairo and sculptures of Jef Wishaupt. An exhibition that immediately causes admiration for Armando Cairo, who - despite his youthful age - possesses a refined technique and a rich expression. Apparently there are no boundaries for him. His expression on canvas is grandiose.

Armando Cairo's subjects are people, which he observes extensively and portrays them on the canvas with their own peculiarities; true to nature and unconstrained. Noticeable is that they are all solemn and into themselves, shut off from the world and deprived of any form of communication. When he pictures them together, they each look in their own direction from within their own isolation, like the people of surrealist Delvaux.

Look at Cairo's paper boys in their urban surrounding and at the young man and woman, together in a lonely room one Sunday afternoon, reading a comic-book. Sad and lonely people, and like I already stated, just as sad as the blind street musician and the other people, which Cairo observed and portrayed in their isolation.

Despite the comparison to Delvaux, Cairo furthermore has no resemblance to the surrealist, although a stream of mysticism and alienation flows through his compositions.

Due to his eye for detail and his expression on canvas, his portraits rather more bring Dick Ket to mind. His expression-skills on canvas become apparent from the newspaper of the paper boys, which shows a photographic accuracy. What shows the importance of Cairo's work, is the subtle atmosphere he creates around his desolate figures.

Cairo is a versatile artist. Not only with his paintings, but also with his etchings and drawings he achieves fascinating results, thanks to a skilled technique and his driven expressiveness.