I first visited Cuba in 1997 and have returned more than 40 times. Even after all these visits to the island, Cuba still seems like a strange place, and trying to represent it poses a huge challenge for me as an artist. I have approached it as a subject in both paintings and videos.
One night in Havana I met a young man on the street. We made several trips around the island, and I took snapshots of the life he showed me. We eventually parted company, and the snapshots were all that remained of our friendship. I arranged some photos into a storyboard and used them as the inspiration for a series of paintings. I think of this body of work as a sequence of frames from a personal documentary that plays in my mind.
During my many visits to Cuba I painted watercolor color portraits of Cuban friends who were willing to sit for me. I painted them quickly to capture the essence of each person's character in their face and body language. A group of these portraits were displayed as an installation at the Havana Biennial in 2006. They were subsequently presented as a solo show called "Esperando" ( "Waiting and Hoping") at La Fabrica de Arte, in Havana, in 2018.
This series of small acrylic paintings on canvas were derived from video images recorded on the night of December 16, 2007 during the annual religious pilgrimage to the shrine of San Lazaro, known as the healer of the afflicted. The paintings are purposefully grainy, dark, and indistinct, to retain the feeling of a mysterious event filmed at night.