Cuban Artists Everyone Should Know About

Cuba is home to a wealth of interesting history and people who have experienced more than their fair share of changing political and social conditions. Therefore, it’s no surprise that contemporary Cuban artists are able to showcase a new way of portraying art. In this article, we will focus on the best Cuban artists and highlight one of the fantastic photographers we represent at Imitate Modern

Spotlight Artist: Nana Del Riego

Imitate Modern is proud to represent one of the most up-and-coming female Cuban artists, Nana del Riego. 

Nana specialises in digital photography and her work is exceptionally current and focuses on portraits, colour, animals and the female form. She has said she’s influenced by Annie Leibovitz, David LaChapelle and Alexander McQueen. 

Nana Del Riego Art Background

Nana del Riego was born in Havana. She spent nine years specialising in art at school. She attended the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts and Cuba’s University of Fine Art, where she achieved a distinction. Although del Riego majored in painting, she is now practising her art through digital photography in Mexico City, where she resides. 

Nana Del Riego’s Notably Use of the Female Form

Nana focuses much of her work on self-portraits and the female body is a common theme in her work. 

Nana focuses on breaking down stereotypes of how the female body is typically used in art. She recognises that women are often used for their appearance in the media and in real life. Instead, del Riego uses feminine bodies as a metaphor for modern society while recognising that her aesthetics are inspired by this media. 

Growing up in Cuba, Nana heard minimal news from outside of her country and, therefore, was not set in with Western ideas of aesthetics. 

Additionally, her work can convey a feeling of being trapped as this reflects her experience growing up in a world where freedom and movement have been limited. 

Nana Del Riego Exhibitions

Del Riego is an independent artist represented in New York, Portugal, Barcelona and London. She has appeared in countless group and solo exhibitions during her professional career. 

In 2012, Nana appeared in her first show in Havana, Cuba and has since gone on to appear in other exhibitions in the capital and across the globe in locations such as Barcelona, Aveiro, and Tennessee. 

Read del Riego’s full exhibition history on her website

Nana Del Riego Portfolio at Imitate Modern

Imitate Modern is proud to represent Nana del Riego in London where we showcase some of her striking work of the female form and self-portraits. 

Her portraits named ‘Gaia I’ and ‘Gaia II’ are wonderful examples of her close up work with a striking use of colour through the makeup, colourful background and props used. For something brighter, she has a portrait work named ‘Popland III’ which is the embodiment of vibrant and fun art using mainly pinks and oranges with a touch of blue in the background. 

We also hold two of her full body images. ‘Seeds’ is a moving image of a woman lying in the grass in a mesh top. In the Seeds portrait, the woman’s face is hidden which adds to the sense of mystery. Whereas the image ‘Made To Fade’, is more ethereal with a woman with long free-flowing light hair who looks to the sky where her head is in a halo, which is further emphasised by the fiery colours used behind the head. Her private areas are covered with a red flower, her hair and a bronze leaf. 

Where to Find Nana Del Riego Online 

As someone who sits just on the cusp of being either a Millennial or a member of Gen-Z, Nana is active on social media, including Instagram and proudly shows her portfolio online through her personal website

FAQ: Learn More About Cuban Art

Who are the most famous Cuban artists? 

The most well-known and popular Cuban artists include:

  • Carlos Garaicoa
  • Matt Randal 
  • Armando Mariño 
  • Carlos Estévez 
  • Wilfredo Lam
  • Felix Gonzales-Torres 

If you are specifically looking for Cuban modern artists from the beginning of the 20th century, here are some influential figures noted by Christie’s:

  • Victor Manuel
  • Amelia Peláez
  • Cundo Bermúdez
  • Mario Carreño 

What type of art is Cuba best known for? 

Cuba has a rich and unique history, and this has certainly played a role in the artwork emerging from the country. After a rocky past, political and social conditions have changed dramatically over the last few decades.

Cuban art is diverse and encompasses many cultures to reflect the country’s history. Influences include European colonialism, dark, mysterious cubism and impressionism from the Vanguardia era and the Naive art that is known for its vibrant and happy colouring and overall uplifting artwork. 

These bright pops of colour and overall energetic feel are certainly evident in Nana Del Riego’s work. 

Are there notable art books about Cuba?

German Publishing company, Taschen, has produced two notable books about Cuba titled ‘Inside Cuba’ and ‘Castro’s Cuba’. 

cuban artists

What’s the most famous Cuban artwork? 

Although the most famous artwork is somewhat debatable, it is clear that a piece by Felix Gonzales-Torres, which sold for over $7.5 million, is the most renowned and valuable artwork by famous artists from Cuba. Among the top 10 most valuable artworks produced by Cuban artists, Wilfredo Lam features five times. 

Where To Buy Contemporary Cuban Art

Imitate Modern offers you the chance to purchase art from many artists across the globe, including Cuban artist Nana del Riego. At the time of writing, we currently have ten pieces by del Riego which you can purchase in just a few clicks and have delivered to your home and hanging in your living space in no time. 

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