René Peña

La Habana, Cuba, 1957

Is a self-taught photographer who graduated with a degree in English Language and Literature from the Higher Pedagogical Institute at Havana University.

René Peña’s work focuses on racial issues. In most of his works using his own body to discourse on their social experience as a black individual, giving it an aesthetic component through treatment, at times, dramatic image. The photographs are almost always taken in black and white as a way to draw attention to the dichotomy that exists between individuals of one and another race. The symbolic coexistence with the marginalization also functions as an essential topic of their work. In other works, it emphasizes the significance of a specific element within the composition with a subtle touch of color.

His works have been exhibited at the Havana Biennial, International Biennial of Curitiba, Brazil, 57 Venice Biennale. Loredan Palace, Venice, Armory Show, New York, Samuel P. Harn Museum University of Florida and the Metropolitan Pavilion de Nueva York. And they belong to permanent collections of the National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Reinhard Schultz Collection, Germany, Tuscan Photo Archive, Italy, Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Farber Collection, Florida, Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires, The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, Harvard Institute for Latin American Studies.