Humberto Castro's Minotaur Bent
During the first years in Paris (1989-1990) Humberto Castro completed two series based on the Minotaur and the zodiac signs. The Minotaur Bent an original in the Caribbean Fine Art Online collection, depicts the exploration of the effects of time on human existence. It is a delicate and poetic piece, one of the richest of Catro’s body of works.
Humberto Castro belongs to the 1980's generation of Cuban artists. His existential language is based on the use of the stylized human figure; the treatment and context of which transmits an array of messages ranging from the political denunciation to the purely poetic.
According to the late curator and art historian Giulio V. Blanc, Castro’s frequent references to mythology clearly link “his superb draftsmanship and painterly skills” to his homeland. “The separations of family and friends, the wanderings in foreign lands, are subjects that lend themselves to mythologizing on a Homeric scale”.
Subtle messages notwithstanding, critics universally agree that the work is unquestionably elegant. “Like a poet, Castro imbues his images with lyrical nuances without diminishing their impact,” states Jorge Hilker Santis, Curator of Collections at the Fort Lauderdale Museum and the curator of its exhibition of Castro’s works from Paris. “His discourse fuses mythological episodes with current events.
About the Artist
Humberto Castro was born in Havana, Cuba in 1957. He is a graduate of the San Alejandro National School of Fine Arts and the Higher Institute of Art in Havana. Castro achieved notoriety in 1980's together with a handful of avant-garde young artists (among them, Elso Padilla, José Bedia and Tomás Sánchez), Castro began challenging preconceived notions and political dogma. Their eclectic art was edgy and often controversial. The Generation of 80s, as they were collectively known, assimilated and adapted ideas from such diverse sources as Photo-Realism and Afro-Cuban rites. As further proof of their independent ways and original talent, each of the members of this pioneering group developed separate and distinctive styles.
Castro’s body of works combines mythical and actual events. This thematic fusion imbues the work with an alluring, visionary quality. His compositions, no matter how grim the subject matter, display an innate elegance, making them palatable and even lyrical at times. Castro is a master at capturing metamorphosis. His svelte figures seem to endlessly evolve from ethereal beings to earthlings. Castro’s stirring palette and sensuous textures further enhance his bewitching designs.