10 Cuban Artists Who Are Shaping Contemporary Art

Salomé Gómez-Upegui for Artsy

Havana-based artist and Guggenheim fellow Yoan Capote works across sculpture, painting, photography, installation, and video to explore subjects of migration and geopolitics. His layered works also examine human psychology and its relationship to the past.

For example, Capote’s immense painting Requiem (Plegaria) (2019–21), shown this year at the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, at first looks like a melancholic seascape drenched in mesmerizing gold. A closer glimpse, however, reveals that the waves are made from thousands of hand-wrought fish hooks. The unconventional material turns the sea into an ominous symbol of political and geographic imprisonment. In Isla (in memoriam) (2007), Capote similarly used hand-wrought fish hooks to depict a dramatic seascape. He also painted the plywood support with his own blood, evoking the pain, brutality, and isolation that Cuban nationals often experience.

July 7, 2022