View In Room
View In Room
Xylography and acrylic on paper
Edition of 7
Dimensions: 35cm (H) x 50cm (W) / 13.8" (H) x 19.7" (W)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
Tree of Life. Woodcut and acrylic on paper.
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Hometown: La Habana
Based in: Barcelona
I was born in Havana in 1964. Throughout my childhood and youth, I watched my father's architectural drawings and the handicrafts of local artists and craftsmen, and I began to feel drawn to what humans are capable of expressing and creating with their hands.
However, I went on to study Veterinary Medicine until one day working at the Havana zoo, I found a fang that a lion had lost and, instinctively, I started to carve it. This chance event prompted me to sign up for the entrance exams to study at the San Alejandro School of Art. Two months later, I was studying sculpture, my true calling, leaving behind veterinary medicine.
I began this new phase in a jewellery workshop, where I learned to create jewellery designs and execute them. But the final push towards the meaning of Art was transmitted to me by the sculptor René Negrín. My initial wood sculptures were joined by stone, marble and steel; and later, wood carving.
Since 1990, I have taken part in dozens of individual and group exhibitions in museums and art galleries which, along with public works, have allowed my creations to gain exposure over the years. For more than 20 years, I have also participated on a regular basis in monumental sculpture symposiums that have taken my works to Brazil, Russia and Italy, among other countries.
Having been born and having lived on the island of Cuba has defined my personality and how I see the world, and my work is a reflection of that. But insularity has its limits, and the need to overcome them has brought me to Sitges (Spain), where I have lived and worked, alternating with Havana, since 2012. My works and current projects, which continue to be Cuban in their form and concept, now include digital technologies and a touch of the Mediterranean.
I am an artist because I have always felt drawn to what humans are capable of expressing and creating with their hands, to the point that my own hands have been my main tool of expression throughout all of my artistic career.
I work in visual arts in general, and even though throughout the years I have been more dedicated to sculpture, I also express myself though printmaking and photography, as well as any other means that inspires my sensitivity. To express myself, I have used all the means and materials that have been available to me at every stage of my life, and I think that each technique or material is a language that allows some ideas or emotions to be better expressed than others. Coming from a country where modern technologies and materials are in short supply, I have used traditional ones, combining them on many occasions to enrich the final result. In recent years, I have integrated digital techniques to my communicative resources in art.
My creative process is diverse and has gradually changed over time, adjusting to the needs of each moment and idea. However, I generally prefer to approach the final work as directly as possible, because I think that the emotion of taming forms little by little until they express my ideas is something invaluable that is reflected in the work. Every moment is unique, each decision is permanent, every strike of the hammer, chisel or gouge is the result of an impulse or state of mind that is not repeated. It’s like taking a snapshot with a camera; you can never take the same photo twice, or carve a woodcut the same way twice. The enjoyment of the adventure of creating art, beyond the result itself, has largely defined the way I work. I sketch out only the bare bones in order to capture the idea. I prefer carving to modelling, ink to pencil, that which is direct and definitive.
There is no escape from being an artist. The ideas that grow in my mind have to be expressed one way or another, and in turn everything around me generates ideas, concepts that scuffle to emerge into the real world in the form of art. That's why I have transitioned during my career from the figurative to the abstract and back to the figurative, from sculpture to photography, printmaking and digital art. I like that, in general, my works transmit tranquillity, harmony and spiritual peace, three emotions that are in short supply in the tumultuous world we live in, and which help us be better people.
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