The Wonders & Nightmares of Cuban Art
Ciro Quintana
July 1st, 2022       

 

The Wonders & Nightmares of Cuban Art

Ciro Quintana

This exhibition presents the monumental, colorful and allegorically complex works of artist Ciro Quintana, in an overview of his from the 1980s, a formative stage in his career where he defined his style, subject matter and formula. Ciro Quintana (Havana, 1964) is one of the cardinal artists within the second wave of the so-called Cuban Renaissance or New Cuban Art. His work, along with that of Ana Albertina Delgado, Adriano Buergo, Ermi Taño and Lázaro Saavedra, shook the artistic and social panorama of Cuba in 1986 when the iconoclastic group Puré -characterized as by kitsch, junk art, confusion between boundaries of artistic individualities and, above all, the treatment of themes directly associated with the every-day and popular life of Havana at the time - broke into the Havana cultural scene. Although short-lived (the group finally disintegrated in 1987 to give way to the development of the personal poetics of its members), the impact of Puré and its bold collective actions implied a milestone in contemporary Cuban art and, consequently, in the further development of each one of the members of the group.

“The iconic series “Crónicas de un artista cubano” (Chronicles of a Cuban Artist), on which I have been working since 2015, is one of the most prolific series in my career as a visual artist, making use of the carnivalization of artistic symbols. With this series I try to guide the viewer behind the stage, depicting contemporary Cuban art in full swing as a diasporic entity. To do this, I utilize symbols and art movements, such as Greco-Roman mythology, Renaissance paintings, Flemish Baroque, Pop art, American comics, and well-rooted icons in Cuban culture such as the bear, caiman, flamingos, the wolf, snake, deer, and the image of the Republic, summarized in the Phrygian cap, among many others."

 

Janet Batet

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