CARLOS LUNA (b. 1969)
Carlos Luna’s oeuvre is an amalgam of native Cuban influence from twentiethcentury artists such as Wifredo Lam, Mario Carreño, and Cundo Bermudez, among others, and the profound influence of Picasso’s and Gris’ Cubism and Leger’s futurist embrace of the machine age. Luna finds inspiration in the naïve and the provincial resulting in an individuation that melds Mexico’s penchant for the macabre and the primitive with the art of western academy and results in his inventive exploration of these culturally diverse artistic forces.
Duality is a common theme in Cuban art, and Luna’s art embodies the internal struggles of an artist who has been uprooted. Part of the 1980’s artistic revolution in Cuba, Luna relocated to Puebla, Mexico and there enriched his unique style through the incorporation of Cuban icons with Mexican bravado of cultural practice and language, the storytelling of Mexcian muralism and even the horror vacui of the Latin American baroque. Luna approaches his paintings from the point of view of the conservator, almost as if restoring the discarded billboard or poster from a bygone era. Akin to a resurrection, Luna’s meticulous method involves building up layers of paint only to scrape them away, leaving them in an abraded state, then building up again in fresh layers that take on a much more refined and highly polished surface of painstaking detail, subtle modeling of form and brilliant colors.
Luna’s gouaches demonstrate strength of composition and when merged with the vivid coloration he employs in his oil paintings, the artist’s achievements become even more effective and visually alluring.