Cuban Artist Antonio Nuñez in Re-Verse

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva

HAVANA TIMES — On January 28, we took down the pieces of one of the best exhibitions organized at our gallery (Espacio Abierto) in 2014.

Opened on December 4 and titled Re-verso (“Re-Verse”), the exhibition consisted of the most recent pieces produced by Antonio Nuñez Hernandez, 43, a Cuban artist born in the province of Camaguey who has been living in Germany for more than 10 years.

A graduate of Cuba’s Higher Institute for the Arts, Antonio has always been interested in painting and its broad range of possibilities.

On this occasion, he exhibited a series of collages, pieces somewhere between the installation, two-dimensional paintings and relief murals.

The large and small-format pieces assembled using different materials (Plexiglas, wood, nylon and paper) presented us with suggestive contrasts of textures, depth and colors.

These collages relied on allusion, appropriation and even confiscation, using internationally recognized icons and symbols, propaganda and publicity figures and images by important photographers (such as Martin Chambi and Diane Arbus).

Unsatisfied with this alone, Nuñez also employs his own photographs and manipulated portraits, putting together a mosaic of stories and characters that emerge from and hide in the convoluted spaces of “impossible countries.”

Antonio Nuñez visits Cuba to see his relatives and friends on a yearly basis.

He strolls down its streets, tries to get in step with the contemporary art scene and has fun returning to this (un)known place.

Antonio’s artistic interest in recycling, in reusing materials stems from the pressing needs that Cubans face, and which characterize them.

It also draws from deep nostalgia, the kind that does not embitter us but which gives faces and experiences a certain beauty, without making us forget the pain that mark his identity as a Cuban.