This summer, Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to present new works by Cuban based artists. The 2015 installment offers a wide range of artistic styles, imagery, and influences, with works by the following artists.
Alex Hernández Dueñas, recently featured in Vanity Fair as one of the Cuban artists you should know, is a painter whose work investigates themes of status, privilege and hierarchical structures within society through images of pristine pools, manicured lawns, sleek homes and country clubs. Influenced by a wide range of artists, including David Hockney and Richard Diebenkorn, Dueñas’s flattened, simplified and colorful handling of compositions creates atmospheres that are dreamlike and often times eerily void of human life.
Luis Enrique Camejo draws his inspiration from the transitory relationship between man and man’s environment, particularly the urban environment. The movement and dynamism of the cityscape is captured through an over use of light, blurring, and dripping of his materials, not showing clarity but the instantaneous nature of the moment.
Karlos Perez is a good example of how recent contemporary Cuban painting has been shaping its own space. With a background in photography, video, and installation, Perez’s paintings have blurred the order of the traditional discourse of art. His works are not “portraits” in the traditional sense, but rather the power of the images comes from their existential character.
JEFF, or José Emilio Fuentes Fonseca (JEFF), is a sculptor whose work gives the impression of simplicity while keeping the complexity hidden from view. Often working with the theme of childhood, he manipulates the language of children toward that of an adult. Threads of love, danger, and play are largely at work in his sculptures, which are also imbued with melancholy and nostalgia.
The Merger is a union of the artists Alain Pino, Mario Miguel González, Niels Moleiro. Their sculptures are greatly influenced by the current economic, political, and social state of Cuba. Using popular icons and tools for their work, they are able to distort them and adapt them to new circumstances in order to highlight issues in culture and society.
Frank Mujica’s graphite drawings explore and enhance human observation in an unexpected way. The gesture within his marks give a realness and clarity to his works, while still maintaining a certain mystery and movement. Mujica’s technique and medium shows a process that adjusts itself to the transient aspects of life.