Havana Biennial: Still Lifes by Adrian Fernandez

HAVANA—Cuba proudly promotes its arts and culture to tourists and many curators’ homes and artists’ studios are regulars on the itineraries of U.S. groups traveling to the country for “people-to-people” exchanges. One such destination is 7ma y 60, a collaborative formed by four relatively young artists in 2010. Arts Observer visited their Havana studio while in the city for the Havana Biennial. While Adrián Fernández, Alex Hernández Dueñas, Frank Mujica Chávez and Maria Cienfuegos create their work independently, they support one another by sharing exhibition space and working together to promote their art.

Among the group, the photography of Fernández stood out. He explored the concepts for two of his current projects through still lifes. “The Aesthetic Possibility of Emptiness” captures bold, graphic images of imitation fruit. For “To Be or To Pretend,” Fernandez paired unique vases with complementary artificial flowers and plants and photographed them using salvaged floral fabrics and tablecloths as backdrops, often taking nearly a month to find the right combination.

Photographs by Fernandez were exhibited at the Houston Center of Photography last year.

View more coverage of the 11th Havana Biennial.

All photos by Arts Observer

Above, Detail of two images from “To Be or To Pretend.” Top of page, Fernandez shows still lifes from his “To Be or To Pretend” series.

Fernandez shows, from left, “Untitled #9” and “Untitled #10” from his “To Be or To Pretend” series.

Digital images from “The Aesthetic Possibility of Emptiness.” On the wall, from left, “Untitled #3” and “Untitled #7.”

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