New Cuban artists at Art Madrid 2024

These days you can breathe contemporary art in every corner of Madrid. One of the usual events in March returns to the Crystal Gallery of the Cibeles Palace. In its 19th edition, Art Madrid becomes a showcase for more than 40 national and foreign galleries, consolidating the city as the capital of the visual arts.

Paintings, prints, installations, sculptures come together in this fair whose premise is to bring the public closer to the best of the artistic production of new and experienced creators, a space for visibility, marketing and dialogue to discover trends in the contemporary art market, but above all supporting the artists of the future.
On this occasion, the event takes place from March 6 to 10, and once again brings together the Collage Habana gallery. Under this seal belonging to the Cuban Cultural Assets Fund, 4 emerging artists from the Island present their work. These are Alberto Sautúa, Lancelot Alonso, Chuli Herrera and Jorge Rodríguez, who bring a representation of their most recent projects in the pictorial genre.

Stand Gallery Collage Habana

The portrait becomes the common thread that runs through the curatorial proposal of STAND B10 of the Cristal Gallery. The selection of pieces defends figurative art, although from different discursive lines that respond to the creative and aesthetic needs of young artists.

Motivated by the digital world and the influence of social networks on everyday life, Chuli Herrera from Camaguey launches a symbolic nod between the classic self-portrait of painting and selfies in his visual proposal “Mirror selfies” (2020). With this series he brings to Art Madrid a project that he began to think about since 2012 based on an arduous investigative process on Instagram in search of selfies taken in the mirror of the house museums of the great masters of self-portrait such as Diego Rivera, Frida Khalo, Oswaldo Guayasamín, Salvador Dalí, Albrecht Dürer, Vincent van Gogh, or Rembrandt and from there build a kind of recreation of them.

For the event, the young man who is currently a member of the Círculo de Bellas Artes of Madrid chose 5 pieces that take Rembrandt’s house museum as their niche. “For me as an artist who idolized and still idolizes those great masters of painting, it was a magical idea to do the same action of self-portrait in that mirror, where the artist painted himself and in the same place where he lived. It has a very strong symbolic load,” he declared exclusively for Arte por Excelencias.
“Since 2017 my work has been modified around the oil on canvas technique, but decomposing the work completely. I paint the entire photograph as realistically as possible and then I destroy it and explode it emotionally. That same emotion does not allow me to finish the work on another day than the day I start it,” Herrera confesses about the creation process that still occupies him.


For his part, Alberto Sautúa presents two creations from his Silencio series at the event, one from 2020 and another from 2023. It is precisely this time frame that sets the evolutionary pattern of his work, by understanding silence from two perspectives. different looks. The first was a result of the pandemic, that time when there was so much uncertainty and the masks covered almost his entire face, only leaving out his eyes. Hence, he gave them the entire burden of the work, while the second is a fantasy of a dreamlike nature around the female figure that recurs in his creations not with a stylistic purpose but as a synonym for human strength, explains the artist who is currently resident. In Salamanca.

“They are silent faces, immersed in their dream world of thoughts. I like to work very spontaneously, letting the subconscious flow, first I stain everything as if it were an abstraction and from there I draw shapes, it’s like coming out of the dream into reality,” he points out about his work in acrylic on canvas.

With a more strident philosophy, Lancelot Alonso proposes a look at the human figure from eroticism. These are works with a high chromatic charge that invite us to observe the intimate and libidinous without prejudice and uninhibitedly. One of the most recent additions to the Collage Habana catalog is Jorge Luis Rodríguez Marrero, his work Sultan bin Salman also premieres at the Madrid event, giving the selection a touch of absurdity and even deformity to the human figure, challenging symmetry, rationality and the classical notion of beauty.
Also the son of Collage Habana, another Cuban is exhibited these days at Art Madrid, but this time among the collection of the Nuno Sacramento gallery in Portugal, an institution founded by José Sacramento, a lover of Cuban painting and culture since the 70s – as he confessed to Arte por Excelencias – when he fell in love with the Havana Biennials and since then he has not stopped supporting the careers of artists from the Greater Antilles such as René Francisco, Carlos Estévez, Roberto Diago, and currently the young people Lianet Martínez, and Yasiel Elizagaray.

It is precisely the latter, who, for the second consecutive time, represents Trinidadian art in Madrid. “This year’s proposal is different from the previous one, Parallel Portraits, now I find myself focused on a discursive line that goes a little more to the experimental search incorporating the motif of wings, and other more material means: resins, pigments, binders . This edition of Art Madrid has been a projection of the new things I want to bring out in Cuba in September,” declared Elizagaray for our magazine and advanced the possibility of bringing a representation of Portuguese artists to the upcoming Havana Biennial, as a platform to continue strengthening the links between the Iberian Peninsula and Cuban art.