Cubas’s art is an intensive examination of life’s contrasts. Often presented on large canvases, his paintings are vivid, striking and suggestive of the emotions and impressions the artist himself experiences as well as those we viewers often share.
Alexey Cubas, born on January 27, 1990 in Media Luna, Cuba, is a talented abstract artist. He completed a four-year degree in Visual Arts at the Academia de Bellas Artes de Oriente Profecional in Cuba in 2008, and in 2011 he became a Member of the Registro Nacional de Creadores. Cubas has been specialising in contemporary art and has participated in various collective and personal exhibitions in his homeland as well as in Zurich, Switzerland.
His works result from intense clashes with life and his search for answers to questions about infinity. Cubas’s paintings are pictures of his perception, ideology and culture. Inspired by the contrasts of life, such as the economic and political realities of his native Cuba and his emigration along with his new life in Switzerland, he paints large-format, expressive and intuitive canvases.
Cubas is melancholic, passionate and determined. In his paintings, life’s contrasts are reflected mainly in the form of aerial photographs of the earth and the sea which are implemented abstractly and according to his personal vision. The viewer gets lost in the wild, in undefined landscapes that touch the emotions and provide a different view of an island in transition and its Caribbean mentality.
What inspires Cubas is human existence: ‘Existential questions, the “why”, existence in general, and all those other questions which we cannot answer, are my sources of inspiration. I’m not specifically interested in politics but I have to admit that the politics ironically is also the source of my inspiration, because it is very present in our lives. And I think that art without politics would not exist’. Cubas is almost done with his new ‘Auf dem Boden’ (On the Ground) series, which is inspired by his homeland. Since he arrived in Switzerland, Cubas admits to feeling a certain longing for Cuba.
He started with the series ‘ich male für mich’ (I paint for me) and then worked on ‘Mar y Tierra’ (Earth and Sea). After those paintings though, he felt that something was missing, that there was still more he wanted to express. Cubas feels that each picture is a part of him, so it is very difficult for him to have a favourite, although certain ones mean more to him than others. For example, the first image of the ‘On the Ground’ series is titled ‘Sue.o de Madre’ (Dream of the Mother, No. 2); it is a work linked to his mother’s constant struggle and efforts to provide for her children’s well-being. Cubas has been greatly influenced by artists such as Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Jean-Michel Basquiat. One of his lifelong dreams is to see his works in a collective exhibition with those of Richter. And he hopes for a change in attitude toward young artists, with society and the art world giving artists with talent a greater chance to succeed.
Project Luxury & Art spoke to Cubas about his artwork and interpretation. Here below, are a few highlights from the interview.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE ROLE OF COLOUR IN YOUR ARTWORK?
My palette has gone through several phases. Currently, I am working with a monochromatic palette. I believe that each artist’s colour selection is strongly associated with emotions and also with his or her life situation. But more than colours themselves, I’m interested in the contrasts that can be caused by colour. Cuba has the clich. of being colourful. One would probably describe Cuba in warm tones. In my view, Cuba has no colour. One can also see Cuba in black and white or shades of grey, just as one could perceive Switzerland in warm tones.
MOST OF YOUR WORK IS LARGE-FORMAT, WHY?
The greater the size, the greater the challenge for me as an artist. I can also express myself much better in large formats.
IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE YOUR ART IN YOUR OWN THREE WORDS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE? AND DO YOU BELIEVE YOUR PUBLIC WOULD AGREE?
Energy, feelings and self-reflection. My audience would also agree with the first two. But no one knows what is in my heart, therefore my pictures leave much room for interpretation. Many viewers also see landscapes or faces in my canvases. Everyone has their personal perspective of a painting and sees them differently. That’s what is so exciting.