Exhibition by Yuri Santana. Villa Manuela gallery. H street, number 406 between 17 and 19, Vedado, La Havana. JANUARY - FEBRUARY / 2019


Many and good professionals of the "exercise of the criterion" in our country have made numerous and sufficient valuations around the pictorial work of Yuri Santana... In addition to their personal critical approaches in such sense, all coincide in a special point of view and, it, given the own ideo-aesthetics of this artist who is in charge of "exposing it": Santana is a visual chronicler of his time, the pulse of the citadine rhythm (better understood, urban) of its inhabitants; of the tricks or tricks and of the tenacity and resistance in the most dissimilar human occupations (and, why not, also of the unemployment of many and many); of the obstinate and uncertain survival in the daily ups and downs of our fellow citizen, but that beyond this context of ours, could be that of any inhabitant of the oppressed and exhausted world that has touched us to live.

Undoubtedly, Yuri Santana seems to surpass the limits of our daily life... However, his dedication does not lose sight of the main course of his theoretical foundation for Sazón completo (exhibition that opens the exhibition year 2019 in the Villa Manuela Gallery): the life of our neighborhoods, in the cities and towns of the Cubans of today, converting each protagonist of their pictorial scenes -not to say landscapes- (those that do not have recognizable faces, that are "frozen" up to the back of the receiver and that for all that do not constitute specific portraits to be able to be anyone) into condiments of a "seasoning" that gives a singular flavor to these narrations without oratory. But yes with stories, in the quo the corresponding headlines of the pieces contribute (in spite of the small of a single word or the precise of a small phrase of only three terms: "Links", "Corner shot" ...) to that "adobo" of the thousand compositions so Cuban and of these moments...

His visual chronicles are not satisfied with mere representation; those go in search of reflective judgment through a lucid socio-critical onslaught that allows us to contemplate ourselves and make us look inside.

And within all this scaffolding of re-evaluations, Santana, moreover, returns to the charge of experimental character in the treatment of color, "of a casual and spontaneous realism that flirts with certain visual codes" and of the compositional character "of counterbalanced planes and accentuated foreshortenings" as he himself declares in that foundation or of this exhibition project that is continuity -in all its senses of content and form- of previous ones, very especially of MONOTONÍAS, A FUEGO LENTO and FLASHAZOS...[1].

"Drama, humour and irony" are three of the ingredients that Yuri Santana has integrated into Sazón completo... And it is true; here there is all of it, but from the sincere and honest projection of this noble artist, of this shrewd "awake dreamer"[2]. In the text of a recent exhibition of his with this headline, note as a colophon in his postcard presentation: "The artistic discourse of Yuri Santana, more than a narrative of an era, rises as a challenge of our times (...) for an act -perhaps- of the possible expectation of what is to come.... That... a man who dreams, but his eyes are wide awake..."

Havana, January 2019


Yuri Santana. Mayabeque, 1983
Resides and works in San José de la Lajas, Mayabeque

2006- Degree in Plastic Arts, Painting Profile. University of Arts, Havana.

2018- Daydreamer. Young Creator's House. AHS Mayabeque, Mayabeque. 2017- Flashazos Galería Casa 26, Havana / A fuego lento, Universal Gallery Benito Ortiz Borrell, Sancti Spíritus- 2010- Agitations, Gallery 23 and 12, Havana. 2009- Monotownías, Luz y Oficios Gallery, Provincial Center of Plastic Arts and Design, Havana. 2006- Returns, Carmelo González Gallery, Casa de Cultura de Plaza, Havana / Intimate visions, Vedasto Acosta Municipal Gallery, Mayabeque.

2017- Post-it 4, Collage Habana Gallery, Havana / El Experimento, Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales. Havana. 2016- Mayabeque Direct Access (II), Luz y Oficios Gallery. Provincial Center of Plastic Arts and Design, Havana. 2015- Present Continuous, Servando La Habana Gallery / Mayabeque Acceso Directo. Municipal Teodoro Ramos Blanco, Havana. 2011- Art Expo Malaysia 2011, International Art Fair, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia / RGB, Casa Oswaldo Guayasamín, Havana. 2010- Art Expo Malaysia 2010, International Art Fair, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia / Reflexions of Cuba, City Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2006- Brief instant on the crest of a wave, Collateral IX Havana Biennial, Casa de Asia Havana / Exhibition IX in carpentry. (Collateral IX Havana Biennial), Instituto Superior de Arte, Havana / Latido/ Heartbeat Sternesen Museet, Oslo, Norway. 2005- Cuba, the next generation (l & ll). Elaine L. Jacob Gallery, New York, United States. 2003- Gallery for a day, Instituto Superior de Arte, Havana.

2009- First Prize, Salón Provincial de Artes Plásticas Arístides Fernández. Universal Art Gallery, Güines, Mayabeque. 2008- AHS Award and Mention Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts Arístides Fernández, Universal Art Gallery, Güines, Mayabeque.

Museum of Finest Cuban Arts, Vienna, Austria. Private collections in Malaysia and the United States.

[1] MONOTONÍAS. Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño. La Habana, 2009; A FUEGO LENTO. Galería de Arte “Benito Ortiz”. Trinidad, Sancti Spíritus, 2017; FLASHAZOS. Casa 26. Génesis Galerías de Arte. La Habana, 2017.

[2] SOÑADOR DESPIERTO. OBRAS 2004-2017. Galería de la Casa del Joven Creador de la AHS de Mayabeque. San José de las Lajas. Octubre de 2018.