Carlos Luna is regarded as one of the foremost contemporary Cuban artists, part of a generation of international creators who have lived and worked in the USA for the last two decades. He has focused his artistic career on exploring several artistic mediums. In each art form he is highly original, technically sound, and constantly provocative.
Luna was born in Cuba in Pinar Del Rio province in 1969. He studied painting in San Alejandro Fine Art Academy, the National School of Art and the Higher Institute of Art. His work evidences a long-standing interest in the vernacular culture and oral literature associated with proverbs, sayings and riddles, incorporating dense pencil scribbles into the painting’s surface as an extension of the temporality of text into the imaginary. These graffiti-like scrawls subvert calligraphic gestures into more stable references, using the language of painting to create a form of visual literacy, while he introduces elements of his own language into a mainstream artistic practice.
Luna left Cuba for Mexico in 1991, where his career entered a new phase of exploration and development. In that country, he felt welcome, and integrated himself into its cultural life throughout a decade. There, he connected with its finest artists and thinkers, raised a family, and continued to be involved in artistic projects. Exile gave him a new perspective on his roots as he incorporated new materials and techniques, which both broaden and consolidated his poetic vision. It also gave him the opportunity to take his artistic vision to a global scale.
In 2002, Luna moved to USA, a personal and professional transition signaled by an important transformation in his work, which was increasingly marked by his love of vernacular poetry, a fascination for popular mythology and an engagement with silent movies, cultural heritage, personal identity and Cuban landscapes.
His work was enthusiastically received by the American artistic community This is attested by a number of solo exhibitions at museums in recent years including: Pablo Picasso Ceramics/Carlos Luna Paintings, NSU Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA; Frost Art Museum, Miami, FL; Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL; American University Museum, Washington, D.C.; Boca Raton Museum of Art; Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, FL and Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA.
Photo Credit: Fernando Franco