If Gustavo Novoa´s art was once considered ¨naif¨, it stopped being so a long time ago due to the implicit aesthetic proposition in each painting and the stylistic treatment with which his harmonious compositions, regardless of their themes, are conceived. They carry the distinct stamp of authorship inherent in all of Novoa´s work.

His touch cannot be confused. The simplicity in his paintings appears in the spirit of the characters that inhabit his idealized faunas and not through a naiveté concerning the drawings or the color, which, on the contrary, are in permanent alliance and interact to produce a spatial effect creating a chromatic perspective often used by Novoa. With this, he demonstrates an absolute dominance of his craft and transmits to the spectator an air of eternal freshness which his paintings possess due to his pure technique. Occasionally framed by bright foliage through which blue skies glimmer, his humanized beasts live peacefully.

They are the elements he uses as an expressive medium to bring us a message of infinite cordiality and profound understanding. He also gives us subtle moral lessons with a certain hedonistic touch that has the power to capture our attention through the vigorous use of color.

In a careful analysis of Novoa´s painting, one of the first things we notice is that his subjects cohabit in a romantic environment, which conveys a deep sensitivity toward natures most exotic surroundings. For him, the words of the poet Moreas ring true: "dress ideas with sensitive forms". Feelings, emotion, and imagination are all the principal ingredients in the creation of this paradise, where the spiritual will always prevail in an art that is first and foremost an expression of faith. If for Dufy, "impressionistic realism lost all its enchantment when contemplating the miracle of imagination introduced in drawing and color", for Novoa, something similar has occurred. He does not conceive his work only as a beautiful object in itself, nor does he present the "realities" of the exterior world in his themes; instead, he expresses the perceptions born of his meditation. He makes us aware of new dimensions where beasts become symbols conveying that "other reality hidden behind appearance", and enchanted jungles come to suggest evocative images of a better world. If we examine his work from a philosophic perspective. we see that the message in Novoa's painting is emotionally perched between reality and dream.

The perfectly distinguishable reality is seen in his characters, located in exuberant jungles where interpretive truth is unquestionable, even though the intention may be different. While the dream has to be sought out in the Taoist vision of nature, it relates to an eager simplicity of physycal contact with nature and a search for the transcendental in routine existence.

The work of Novoa that we have come to identify with certain themes, his treatment of color, and careful brushstrokes, does not always result in a common style; he enjoys, at times, distancing himself from his schemes and from his habitual techniques to give us, for instance, a cityscape, a still life, a countryside, and the occasional portrait conceived within his distinct style. All these changes are more than a simple rebellion against the quotidian; they are movements of the spirit demonstrating an intense expressive duality that leads to an unending search for new formulas in order to continue bringing us different forms of aesthetic expression and new and unexpected pictorial themes.

For Novoa, artistic expression through painting, as in any other form, must also carry a positive message. Perhaps this is one of his major concerns while elaborating his themes. He is conscious of the artist's responsibility regarding the possibility of producing positive changes in his audience and the influence that his aesthetic message can exert when it is adequately presented.

Perhaps one of the best ways for us to enter into the world of Gustavo Novoa's painted images would be to read his book of poems, Jungle Fables (1978). In those verses, "vice and virtue" are shown through those same characters that inhabit his canvases. Reading these poems facilitates our path to a deeper understanding of his artistic expression; it is profoundly human and committed to helping preserve our environment. Novoa's paintings are like stories, told in images, of how he perceives reality in a world he has dreamt and interpreted; the elements that make up this world are not necessarily what they appear to be. In his art, he makes them real. Novoa doesn't copy reality or pretend to give us his vision of it. He reinvents a parallel world where, on occasion, flora and fauna are integrated into the same space. Other times, these elements divide chromatic zones with different levels of light. In this way, he creates his own universe of images.

In recent years, Novoa's work has moved towards surrealist expression. In his latest pieces, we can appreciate a more liberal posture in the "realities" of his imagined world where fantasy becomes real, as real as the characters that populate his canvases. More and more, Novoa tries to show us a world in which rules and relations are not delineated by anything but free will and everything that drives us toward a better world. For him, what is truly important is not the painting itself, nor its formal value; it is the intellectual process which is born in those who see his work and which we cannot suppress. Novoa's natural inclination toward realism becomes something else due to this poetic feeling he transmits through each of his compositions. He succeeds in making his creations convey a message as moving as it is enjoyable. It awakens in each of us an interest that never weakens because his works have the capacity to permanently renew his message, as all fine works of art do. When we speak of Gustavo Novoa, we speak of an artist truly committed to a body of work -composed with a precise hand and great use of color- which brings us a vision of a more humane world.