The work of Osmany Abel Garcia Fuentes

/ 6 October, 2014

A large-scale poetics


Getting today into the correct coordinates of the complex map representing Cuban contemporary art requires not only academic skill or talent, but also incredible management power and knowledge of the medium. The variety of emerging proposals is so vast, quantitatively, as precarious in truly original solutions. The medium becomes increasingly uncertain and hostile to those who seek legitimacy in and outside the Island. However, there is always someone who finds a gap to express his art.

The career of Osmany Abel Garcia Fuentes reveals wise points of contact with the most recent artistic practices. His training as an architect and later graduated from the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts determines a more comprehensive perspective on his reasoning of cultural phenomena . The sources from which he is nourished-either architecture, plastic arts or design- usually find a handhold in his proposals which really fit with his works that become a reflection of the expanded and multidisciplinary universe that contemporary visual arts are today.

His first explorations usher in the personal exhibition ReciclAGE (2011), [1] which dealt with the general deterioration of Havana buildings. As an urban archaeologist, he subtracted the rubble of certain areas of the city, to create with them a kind of infinite column, a symbolic representation of the phoenix. Shaping the destruction, in a continuous process of creation, was the ideal way to express a discomfort which many believe it cannot be repaired. However, from the perspective of someone who carries his profession really deep inside, the opportunity to rescue to rebuild again always persists.

After this risky initiation exercise, slower times came in which he devoted himself to painting using an Inquisitor an expressionist tone. His reflection dealt with other problems that -beyond physical destruction- addressed the moral depreciation of society. Later, Osmany Abel Garcia Fuentes, returning to the volumetric forms, debuted on the international stage as a result of an artist residency developed at the Queens Museum, in New York; where he carried out, along with the also artist / architect Yoandy Rizo Fiallo, the two-person exhibition ¨Entre Fronteras/Between Borders: An Architectural Intervention (2014). The piece was a site-specific that transformed the museum inner gallery into a giant nest made ​​of wooden structures simulating the scaffolding used in Havana shored up buildings. The work was remembrance of Cuba and, at the same time, a subtle allusion to migration topic.

The possibility to continue dealing with this issue arises with his participation as a guest artist in Craig Shillitto´s project: This Ain’t Havana. In addition, during this stay in the city of New York, he was offered other collaborations with project Immigrant Movement International (IMI) and the Bronx Museum of art. Thus, he has been outlining a career, increasingly focused on large-scale work. The monumentality of the pieces, the use of recycled materials and judicious appropriation of spaces are irrefutable signs of his own way of making, actually in tune with the current times. Little miss to witness how the young artist finds the gap that will allow him to be part, finally, of the complex world of the visual arts.

1. Originally it was conceived a more complex process, in which intervened the prior research of chosen spaces, a performance of the artist moving the rubble and finally the construction of the Havana- Phoenix 2019 column. Three small glass cases containing each a rock taken from the ruins of Guanabacoa municipality buildings with heritage value accompany the video and installation.

Loliett Marrero Delachaux

Loliett Marrero Delachaux

La Habana, 1990. Licenciada en Historia del Arte por la Universidad de La Habana. Desde 2013 labora como especialista en el Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam. Ha publicado artículos sobre arte cubano y latinoamericano en las revistas Arteamérica, El Caimán Barbudo, Extramuros y el Boletín Ojeada que emite el Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam.


Dr. Milagros Bello

8 December, 2015

great article



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