Carlos Guzmán was born in Havana in 1970. Graduating from the Academia de Bellas Artes San Alejandro in 1989, whilst studying at the specialist arts school, Guzmán benefited from the teaching of affluent artists such as Flora Fong, Carlos del Toro, Eugenio D. Melón and Antonio Aleja. The rigorous art education Guzmán received allowed the artist to confidently develop his own, very unique, style on the Cuban art scene, most often referred to as being post-medieval. However, the artist has been quoted as saying that labels and definitions of artistic style do not frame or define his thought process, he produces and leaves the defining to the critics and art historians.
Guzmán’s work, when first seen, appears as if subject type and style have been taken straight out of medieval manuscripts, however, upon closer inspection we see very modern issues and subjects portrayed in an archaic—yet timeless style. Guzmán has stated the central theme of his work as being human beings, their connection with spaces in the universes, relationship with nature, machines and modern day inventions, that simultaneously help and hinder the modern man. The artist does not propose that he offers up solutions to the contradictions and dialectical tensions in his work, he simply presents them as a concern and allows his public to sort through solutions themselves.
Whilst being very obviously influenced by medieval techniques, Guzmán references various Cuban artists as being the main influences behind specific themes and media choices—most notably: Antonio Eiriz, Acosta León and Fidelio Ponce. Their influences vary from the ocher and sepia colour usage of Fidelio Ponce, the recycled materials used by Antonia Eiriz, and the subject matter emphasis on machines seen in the works of Acosta León. The sepia tonality is a vital element of Guzmán’s work. The tone of his works, whether painting, collage or textiles give the viewer a sense of aged works. Added to a post-medieval style, the artist presents his works as being effortlessly timeless, although dealing with transient issues.
Guzmán has exhibited all over the world through the duration of his 30-year career. In total, he has exhibited over 100 times in personal and collective exhibits. His work is also found in world-wide private collections. His studio is currently in the La Mina complex, where he works alongside artists such as Roberto Fabelo, Zaida del Rio and Ernesto Rancaño.Download CV