Kcho: Rowing Against the Current

Kcho was born in 1970, Nueva Gerona, Isla de Pinos. He began his artistic training there and soon after moved to Havana, where he completed his studies and currently lives and works. He is today one of the most important artists of his generation and his work can be found in prestigious museums and institutions around the world. Among those we can mention MOMA, New York; theNational Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, Cuba; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Museo Van Reekum, Apeldoorn, Netherlands and the Centro de Arte Walker, Minneapolis, just to mention a few.
He appeared on the Cuban scene in the early 90s with a very unique style. In a decade marked by an increasing migration process it is not a surprise that his work gravitated towards that theme. He chooses to portray the drama of the Cuban migration, specifically the perilous voyage by sea. The dangers of that type of trip are represented in the innertubes, boats and oars that he uses to create his pieces. The scarred surfaces, the aggressive and sketch-like lines are allusive to the difficulties involved in the process. The lonely and scattered pieces suggest abandonment and death, portraying a grim scenario of what can happen in the vast and treacherous sea.
Jorge Fernandez, the Director of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Cuba, said in his text for the catalog exhibit: “(...) Kcho, like Matisse, knows that it is drawing which leads to the spirit, and color to the senses. He also learned as a rule that it is drawing that can guide color along the paths of spirituality. This exhibition is the confrontation, or the will of the artist to make possible the small niches that we find along the paths of life.”