In general my work is related to my personal reactions to different moments and contexts. I’m interested in exploring the way in which artists and artistic objects are mystified when they come from a specific culture or context, as well as the relationship between elite and popular tastes.
1. What made you choose art as a profession?
I can’t really say why I chose this profession at this exact moment as I’m motivated by lots of different factors. I do know that when I look back and see that I always wanted to be a painter I realise why I still think about art and everything this profession involves.
2. How would you define your work?
I’d define my work as a dialogue with different contexts and times based on my own personal experience.
3. What subjects are you interested in?
I’m interested in the contradictory nature of artistic processes, the limits between what is and what isn’t art, between courtesy and irreverence.
4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
I use quite a wide range of formal resources, depending on the idea in question.
5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
Reality and context are part of my raw materials.
6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
I still agree with what Joseph Kosuth said in 1969: “Being an artist now means to question the nature of art … and this questioning is a very important concept in understanding the function of art.”
7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
I’m aiming at all publics, both specialist and otherwise. I hope to spark unexpected reactions in people. I’ve always enjoyed and been fascinated by the tremendous range of different readings and interpretations people have, since once the work is finished, it no longer belongs to you; you’ve relinquished all control over it for ever.
8. What qualifications have you got? What do you value most from your time in education?
I graduated in painting at San Alejandro art school in Havana, Cuba. I studied at the Higher Art College in Havana and took artist Tania Bruguera’s behavioural art course. In 2010 I completed a residency at the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in Amsterdam. Above all, I value my first years at the academy, where everything really got started and where I met people who are now a major part of my life.
9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
I like what I do and I hope to continue doing so for a long time. That makes me feel satisfied.
10. Many artists say it’s difficult to make a living from their work; how do economic considerations affect you when it comes to work? Do you think this has a bearing on your work?
Economic considerations don’t affect my work too much. I work with whatever I have to hand; my ideas don’t need big budgets.
11. What do you look for or expect from your relationship with promoters and curators? What advantages and difficulties have you found with these relationships?
There are as many different promoters and curators as there are artists, so I don’t look for or expect anything from them in particular. They definitely play an important role and this collaboration always has to be first and foremost.
12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
The arts scene in Madrid reflects the current economic situation: lots of safe art in museums and institutions and not a lot of risks being taken. There are lots of truly enriching exhibitions but they are too safe. There is a lack of support for young artists in terms of residencies, which I why I really welcome initiatives like El Ranchito, the Felipa Manuela residency, this Creators Archive and Matadero Madrid in general.
Santiago de Cuba, 1981.
Vive y trabaja en/Lives and works in: Amsterdam
Cátedra Arte Conducta, La Habana.
Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA), La Habana.
Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro, La Habana.
Exposiciones individuales/Solo Exhibitions
The Golden Antelope, Artpocalypse Collective, Amsterdam.
Exposiciones Colectivas (Selección)/Selected Group Exhibitions
Círculos, Galería Elba Benítez, Madrid.
Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), Istanbul.
Formally Speaking/And what shall we do with Painting in then 21 st Century?, Haifa Museum of Art - Israel.
Pinta. The Modern & Contemporary Latin American Art Show. London.
The Draughtsman's Contract, Studio Sandra Recio, Genoa.
Todos tenemos buen gusto, Factoría de Arte y Desarrollo, Madrid.
Dentro-fuera, OTR Espacio de Arte, Madrid.
RijksakademieOPEN 2010, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam. *
The fear factor, Officina Giovani, Prato.
Touched, Liverpool Biennial. International 10, Cátedra Arte de Conducta.
Unveiled Identity Unveiled, Artpocalypse Collective, Amsterdam.
Out of Storage II – Rhythms, Mudam-Luxembourg, Luxembourg.
RijksakademieOPEN 2009, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam. *
Estado de Excepción, 10th Havana Biennial, La Habana. *
Salud Deporte y Control, Galería Umberto di Marino, Napoli.
Lança Cuba, Gallery Gentil Carioca, Rio de Janeiro.
Gwangju Biennale. 'Cátedra Arte de Conducta'. Gwangju, South Korea. *
Foro Sur, Cáceres, España.
F.E.M. VII, Madrid.
Open Season, 9th Havana Biennial, La Habana. *
Collection of the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. *
J'en rêve. Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris. *
Centri-Fuga, Center for the Development of the Visual Arts, La Habana.
Encuentro de Performance, Cienfuegos, Cuba.
Encuentro de grabados, Centro Wilfredo Lam, La Habana.
Mas allá del contenido, San Alejandro National Academy of Arts, La Habana.
Programas de vídeo/Film Festivals and Screenings
Impakt Festival. Utrecht.
Becas y Premios/Awards and Grants
Ministerio de Cultura, España.
Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten/Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
Van den Berch van Heemstede Stichting, Nederland.
Mención de honor. Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional (AECI), La Habana, “Visión de futuro”.
Obra en museos y colecciones/Work in Museums and Collections
CIFO - Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, US.
MEIAC Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, Badajoz.
Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris.
MUDAM Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg.
* Cat. Exp.