Archive for the 'Exhibits' Category

Havana “Project Y” Exhibit

February 10, 2009

This is the real stuff. I was invited by my friend Pepe Menéndez, the Creative Director of Casa de las Americas in house Design Department to participate in a collective exhibit for the X Biennal of Contemporary Cuban Art. The theme -at least in my opinion- it was a great example of the discussions that are taking place in Havana cultural scene: “Integration and Resistence in the Global Era”. Here are some images of the show.

Rojo/Red Poster Show Exhibit in Havana

January 23, 2009

Caca en el Taller Poster Exhibit

November 4, 2008

C.A.C.A (Shit in spanish) are the initials for the Club Amigos del CArtel. “Cartel” is the word we used in Cuba for Poster. This is the very first Poster Show, CACA organized in Havana. I’m a proud founder of the group from Saint Louis, and I had supported them since the very first conception of the idea.

Seattle-Havana Poster Show

April 17, 2008

I’ve being invited to participate in the Seattle-Havana Poster Show with this poster I did for the 2006 Humanitarian Auction in Casa de las Americas. This is a poster exhibit organized by Daniel R. Smith, wich is a Creative Director at Starbucks. Despite their geographic distance, Seattle, Washington and Havana, Cuba share vibrant, experimental graphic design cultures often best expressed by their distinctive poster design. The Seattle-Havana Poster Show is a selection of over 40 silkscreen-printed posters sharing cultural themes such as music, film, theater and other arts events. Artists include a range of talents, from Eduardo Muñoz Bachs (1937-2001), one of the most famous Cuban poster designers of the modern era, to recent graduates of Havana’s design school, el Instituto Superior de Diseño. These Cuban designers’ posters are paired with the work of Seattle designers, from established artists such as Art Chantry and Jeff Kleinsmith, to up-and-coming works by Micah Barrett, Johann Gomez, and many others After its Bumbershoot debut, The Seattle-Havana Poster Show will travel to Havana in 2008, where it will hang at el Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales (CDAV) and be shared with Cuban designers prohibited from traveling to the U.S. The Seattle posters will remain in Havana, a gift from this city’s designers to CDAV’s permanent study collection.

The Seattle-Havana Poster Show is a collaborative effort between four curators, two based in Seattle and two in Havana. In Seattle, Jacob McMurray, Senior Curator at Experience Music Project and Daniel R. Smith, Creative Manager at Starbucks Coffee. In Havana, Pedro Contreras Suárez of El Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, and Pepe Menéndez, Design Director Casa de las Américas.

Ghost, a Cinema Posters Exhibit

March 2, 2008

The Transito Exhibit: The Allies

January 10, 2008

I was invited by my friend Rafael Garcia -a Cuban designer who resides in Tenerife, Spain- to participate in a collective exhibit his studio -named “La Balsa”- is organizing with the Center of Bellas Artes of Tenerife. For the purpose of the exhibit, the gallery will be declare an official Republic. The space will be renamed as “The Republic of Transit”, and it is an made-up, fake, absurd place. The curators will recreate the atmosphere, look and feel of a frontier or border between countries. So the exhibit will explore the vision of artists around the globe regarding the experience of being living out of their native countries. The growing pains, the multiculturalism as a process of understanding the other, the rejection, assimilation, and the sense of plural identities that emanates from those process. A very interesting -and not only Cuban- subject.

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A Tower for the Transit Exhibit

January 9, 2008

By the time I got the box from Spain, I knew what I would do. I glued a set of dominoes and create this Babel Tower. The glue was perfect so the tower traveled inside of the box and cross the Atlantic without any problem. People at the exhibit were very intrigued about how the hell that tower of dominoes traveled from Saint Louis to Spain without falling apart. Thank you Home Depot.

Here is the rationale behind my installation: In the Old Testament, men tried to climb to God building a tower -Babel- that would eventually reach Heaven. God was furious and make them to speak different languages so they couldn’t get organized. Men were so confused by the fact they couldn’d understand each other, that give-up and walk away from the project. God destroyed the tower after and that’s the biblical explanation for the origin of languages. I think it is a painfully beautiful metaphor of multiculturalism.  People want to get along to achieve knowledge, but they are trapped in their own Culture. Language is just one of the visible aspects of culture, but as I said: “that’s just the tip of the iceberg”.

With the dominoes I added a sense of humor, a touch of Cuban nostalgia, and a couple of internal Cuban jokes that are impossible to translate if you don’t know the Cuban dominoes code.

Words at Pepe Menéndez Poster Show

November 2, 2007

Center for Cuban Studies, New York | November 2nd • 2007

The very first time I heard Pepe Menendez’s name, it was at the top of a “black list” of graphic designers. It wasn’t that big of a deal, just an insignificant discrepancy with the dean of the Design Institute we all graduated from. It was 1997. I was in my 2nd year, and I remember talking with my friend Laura about the issue, and how amazed we were about the fact that somebody was challenging the Dean’s authority. Three years later Laura and I graduated. One year after that, I ran into her and Pepe in a Gallery, they were dating. Two more years and I was signing as a witness to their marriage.

Pepe Menendez is a good catch. He is the Perfect Cuban Graphic Designer. He embraced the legacy of his great uncle -Garcia Cabrera- an astonishing graphic artist of Havana’s belle epoque. He had a Bau Haus childhood in Germany that saved his soul from the influence of russian cartoons that the rest of us grew up with, and cherished as a kind of guilty pleasure. He is, probably the first, of the first generation of Cuban designers that graduated from the Instituto Superior de Diseño, the only University of Design in Cuba. He finished his studies in 1989 which was a turning point for Cuba’s destiny, when new national necessities created the need for a new national design. Read the rest of this entry »

The Graphic Rose Poster Show

March 2, 2006

This was the biggest thing I ever done in my career as a designer: The Graphic Rose. It was a Poster Exhibit I curated, that compiled about 120 poster made for cultural events in Spain, Havana and Quito, Ecuador. The graphic solution is a remake of a classic poster from Alfredo Rostgaard. The original poster portraits a bleeding rose, and it was created to represent the political song movement started in 1969 -known as Cancion Protesta movement-. I might not share completely the principles of that era, but I do recognize we owe a lot to the Cuban Masters from the 60’s. Rostgaard was our mentor at college and he died in 2004 when I was in Ecuador. This project was a very personal thing. I did it as a farewell to a city that really represented a lot to me, and I also payed a tribute to Rostgaard revitalizing his beloved poster -that I had in my office at Casa de las Americas in Havana. Read the rest of this entry »