Carlos Quintana (b. in Havana, Cuba in 1966) is a contemporary Cuban artist known for his expressive paintings which meld collective memory, fantasy, and personal symbolism. Often featuring bald figures, Quintana’s work shifts between grotesqueness and beauty while exploring the formal properties of paint. He went on to study painting at both the Academy of San Alejandro and the Institute of Design in his hometown. Exhibiting in Cuba since the early 1990s, the artist has gone on to show in Mexico, Spain, and the United States. He currently lives and works in Madrid, Spain. Quintana’s works are held in the collections of the Rubin Museum of Art in New York, the National Museum of Fine Art in Havana, Gary Nader Collection, and The Rodriguez Collection in Miami, among others.
“Quintana organizes the struggle in the interior of his canvases, that he is one of the few contemporary artists that can manage to embrace in them the light of the timeless, the moving reflections of universal atavistic culture: Europe, Latin-America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa are inscribed in his artworks filled with shapes but also and above all the core of their spiritualties… His artistic endeavor resembles that of the experimental mystic of returning to the origins, to the germs of creation, reestablishing a magical relation with the shapes and colors, recovering the charm of the painting which give shape to the secret essence of things, to find again the purpose of the art as the only force of resistance in a society, ours, where it is assimilated as an ordinary product of consumption. Quintana paints or draws to become Seer, to bespell, to invoke spirits to heal, and foretell.”
Fragment retrieved from the essay “Carlos Quintana” by François Vallée