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.