Orlando Hernández is a writer, poet, art critic, art historian, and researcher on Cuban popular cultures and AfroCuban ritual arts in Havana.
In 2010, he has curated the first Cuban art show in South
Africa, "Without Masks," which
presents themes of AfroCuban culture and issues of race and identity.
‘The art victims of
New explorations in Contemporary Afro-Cuban work
JOHANNESBURG ART GALLERY, JOHANNESBURG, 23 MAY - 29 AUGUST 2010
The exhibition is curated by renowned Cuban curator, Orlando Hernández. Participating artists include: Belkis Ayon Manso, Ricardo Rodriguez Olazabal, Rene Pena, Marta Maria Perez Bravo, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Carlos Caraicoa Manso, Manuel Mendive, Elio Rodríguez, Douglas Pérez, Armando Mariño, and Roberto Diago, and Yoan Capote.
Johannesburg Art Gallery
SOUTH AFRICA, May 26TH, 2010 - The first exhibition of contemporary Afrocuban Art was opened this week at the Johannesburg Art Gallery with the attendance of the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Honourable Mr. Paul Mashatile, and the Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Councilor Amos Masondo.
The exhibition includes 80 paintings, photos and other artworks of 26 Cuban
artists. The opening coincided with the celebrations in the city of Johannesburg
for the Africa Day. To this memorable occasion traveled to South Africa six
Cuban artists: Jesús Peña, Roberto Diago, José Bedia, Carlos Gairacoa,
Douglas Pérez Castro, Elio Rodríguez and the curator, Orlando Hernández.
“Afro-Cuban Art Cannot Be Confined to a Ghetto” Interview with Orlando Hernández, Cuban art critic and curator of “Without Masks,” first Cuban art show in South Africa 7/8/2010 Cuban Art News
masks: Contemporary Afro-Cuban art 6/27/2010 Repeating
Islands: "Chris von Christierson, who wrote the catalogue’s
foreword, comments on the “imperfect liberation culture” in both the Cuban
and South African identity. Armed with this phrase we go and taste what it is
about Cuban art that we as South Africans can hold on to."
Cuban mix of sadness and spice comes to city of gold 6/27/2010 Times Live: "A visiting foreign exhibition can be a minefield; Cuban art in South Africa displays the rawness of both cultures, making you realise the common, occasionally explosive grounds we share."
Art exhibit explores Cuba’s African heritage 5/25/2010 Repeating Islands: "Artists participating in the show will include Belkis Ayán, Manuel Mendive, Bernado Almoguea and René Peña. Ayón, a lithographer, explored Afro-Cuban religion. Her worked combined the myth of Sikan and the traditions of the Abakuá, a men’s secret society. She committed suicide at the age of 32. Mendive, who also emerged from the revolutionary road, has received numerous awards for his work. He has participated in many group and solo art exhibitions in Cuba and Europe. Almoguea is known for painting brightly coloured, politically probing works from his government-owned potato stand. A self-taught photographer, Peña explores the problems of racial and social minorities in his art. His works are part of private collections in Cuba, Italy, the United States, Switzerland, Belgium and Argentina, among other countries. In all, 26 artists will participate in the exhibition, which will show about 80 works. They include the internationally acclaimed artists Joe Bedía, Yoan Capote, Carlos Garaicoa, Armando Mariño, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Elio Rodríguez, Douglas Pérez and Roberto Diago. “The City is proud to be part of such an event that will bring the Cuban touch to our doorstep, and that our citizens will be able to share this wonderful and unique experience,” it said."
Art explores Cuba's heritage 5/24/2010 Joburg: "According to the City, the exhibition will focus on Cuba's African heritage, exploring the two major themes of race and religion within contemporary Cuban society and the practices which thrive today that were brought to the Caribbean island from west and central Africa by slaves. "The exhibition will give South Africans the opportunity to engage with the issues it raises," it said."
Journey of darkness and light 5/21/2010 Mail & Guardian, South Africa: "In 2007 South African-born businessman Chris von Christierson approached Hernández to compose a collection of Cuban art for him. Given carte blanche, Hernández chose to curate this collection according to the theme of Afro-Cuban identity, a subject he felt would be of relevance to the Christiersons, having come from the heel of Africa."
'There is more to Africa than its masks' 5/21/2010 Mail & Guardian, South Africa: "Doesn't Cuba pride itself on being a classless society, theoretically at least? In what way is racism an issue in Cuba? Cuba is a society where there is really still a lot of racism, but the issue has been silenced in society. People in power say: "We don't have racism because we are an egalitarian society." But this is not the opinion of many black and mulatto people in Cuba who feel that the issue of race still needs to be discussed. They feel discriminated against by light-skinned Cubans…. It's important to educate the people about our different sources in society. We do not have only Spanish and Indian roots."
Les victimes (havanaises) de l'art
Queloides III/Keloids III
Raza y Racismo en el Arte Cubano Contemporáneo
Race and Racism in Cuban Contemporary Art
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