Carlos Luna’s paintings and works on paper exhibit the beauty, anger, sorrow, passion and hope shared by many people in Cuba. Specifically, what is apparent when viewing Luna’s paintings is his ability to tell beautiful and tragic tales through the body of his work. Luna is able to take his experiences and emotions and translate them into paintings that speak for many. His paintings, though symbolic in nature, are grounded in the real world, and thus carry with them a poignancy not often found in the art world. Beyond that is his exquisite handling of paint within a wide range of complex compositions. From portraits of roosters to swirling, dynamic murals, Luna’s work never fails to elicit dramatic responses.
Intense yet controlled, earthy yet abstract, intimate yet boldly theatrical, dark yet exuding the power of life, Luna’s paintings present the essences of love and hate, freedom and repression, growth and decay—that is to say, all that makes up the human condition.
Carlos Luna was born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba in 1969. He left Cuba in 1991 to live in Puebla, Mexico, where he resided until 2002. Since 2002 he has lived in the United States, currently living in Miami. His work has been exhibited in museums on five continents and is in important collections in Europe, Latin America, and the United States, including El Museo del Barrio in New York, Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach and the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale. In 2001 he received an award from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the same year he received an EB-1-1 (Alien of Extraordinary Ability) Immigrant Visa from the US Immigration and Naturalization Service. Polk Museum of Art has worked with the Susquehanna Art Museum and The Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery at Lebanon Valley College as well as the Cisneros Capital Group to organize this exhibition and produce a major catalogue on Luna’s work.