Cuban Artist Carlos Luna
Carlos Luna drawings depict Latin American culture beyond skin deep Aug. 8–Dec. 31, 2017
Weaving together the artistic roots of his native Cuba with influences from Mexico, Carlos Luna’s art explores the layers of personal and popular stories that have shaped his world. In Deep Line Drawings, on view August 8 through December 31, 2017, the artist invites viewers to experience the depth of the line and the richness that is underneath the “skin” of his work. Luna incorporates cultural symbols and language in his use of traditional processes to reveal a vibrant look at modern perceptions of Latin America.
Carlos Luna was born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba in 1969. He was affiliated with “Art of the 80s” movement of dissident artists but left the country in 1991, as did many Cubans who emigrated after the fall of the Soviet Union. As a young artist, he learned from Picasso’s Cubism, Leger’s mechanical images, and Latin American Baroque, as well as the great Cuban artists such as Wilfredo Lam and Mario Carreño. After leaving Cuba, Luna lived in Puebla, Mexico and absorbed its culture, particularly the storytelling of the Mexican muralists and the decorative motifs of its ceramics. In 2002 he moved to Miami where he still resides.
Luna’s work is semi-autobiographical and reflects the influence of the three countries where he has lived, in particular, the rural Cuba of his childhood. Luna grew up in an area where the beliefs and culture of the Cuban descendants of African Yoruba culture are particularly strong. The sacred forest is home to medicinal plants and the deified ancestors, orichas, whose symbols often appear in Luna’s work. Eyes are a recurring theme, reflecting both the watchful government as well as Eleggua, the Afro-Cuban trickster god who observes human folly and accomplishment.
Luna tells stories, whether they are remembered from his childhood or gleaned from popular media, and often includes words in both English and Spanish. These can be common idioms, clever wordplay, or Cuban slang, sometimes written backward.
See you Monday, August 7 from 6:00–8:00 pm at The Boca Raton Museum of Art!