On December 1st, 2023, MoCAA will inaugurate three simultaneous exhibitions. One of these will be "El hombre es una isla," featuring pieces created by Pepe Franco over the last decade. In an article published by Hypermedia magazine in September 2020, Cuban art expert and professor François Vallée remarked in the introduction:
"José Franco has been a prominent figure in Cuban art since the 1980s. His artistic practice is prolific and eludes easy classification. As is often the case in what has come to be known as postmodernity, his work is marked by constant renewal and is not confined to a single medium. Instead, it spans and explores an array of forms: painting, drawing, sculpture, object art, installation, and theatrical scenography, among others. He is an artist who stands independently of the doctrinaire positions of the art world, a 'sharpshooter' demonstrating a plastic openness leading to a renewed circulation of the gaze.
His emblematic iconography originates from the intertwining and layering of images and textures, blending the mineral, vegetable, animal, and human realms to probe the borderlands between nature and spirit, life and technology, the real and the surreal, the primitive and the modern. Franco's works are zoomorphic, phytomorphic, anthropomorphic combinations, joined in successive gradations, always aspiring to progress from the simple to the complex, from inorganic and insensate beings to sentient ones, and from these to animals, the supreme work of creation.
José Franco paints the skin of the world. He does not establish a hierarchical scale among creatures; instead, they connect through multiple balances and form a chain, each essentially integrated with the whole. Thus, serving each part of nature to the perfection of the ensemble, be it in the vast cosmos that is the universality of the world, or in the microcosm that is the living being, every element created by Pepe Franco is a system of forces coordinated to the equilibrium of our system and to the premonition of the harmony and order of the universe.
José Franco strives to find the immutable pole in the eternal fluctuation of created things."
Franco is well-known in the realm of contemporary Cuban art, a regular at the most prominent Biennales of Latin American and global art in recent decades. During his stay at the Museum, he will create an installation for its permanent collection, deliver two masterful lectures, and also collaborate with the collection of the Fine Art Ceramic Center, associated with the museum. His personal exhibition will feature four pieces created in 2017 that have remained in private collections in South Florida until today.
José Franco graduated from the San Alejandro School of Fine Arts (1978) and the Superior Institute of Art (1983) both in Havana. From 1982 through 1987 he was a member of the group 4x4, alongside artists Moisés Finalé, Gustavo Acosta and Carlos Alberto García. Franco also taught at the Superior Institute of Art. His solo shows include Sueño con Daín (Dreaming about Daín) at La Rama Dorada Gallery in Panama City, Panama, 1999; Extraños encuentros (Strange Meetings) at Der Brücke Contemporary Art Gallery in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1997; La escritura de Dios (God’s Scripture) at Banco Patricios Foundation in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1995; Pinturas, dibujos e instalaciones (Paintings, Drawings and Installations) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Panama City, Panama, 1994; Energía natural (Natural Energy) at Félix Gallery in Caracas, Venezuela, 1993; Ecology vs. Technology at The Space Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts, 1992; and Riing..! Grrr...! at La Fuerza Castle in Havana, 1990.
His works are featured in public collections such as those of El Museo del Barrio in New York, United States; MOLA - Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California, United States; the John S. Guggenheim Foundation in New York, United States; the Civic Museum of Gibellina in Italy; the Museum of Modern Art in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Panama City; the La Tertulia Museum in Cali, Colombia; the Fine Arts Museum of Havana; the Housatonic Museum in Connecticut, United States, and the Farber Collection.
The upcoming exhibition of José Franco at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Americas promises to be a pivotal event, not only for admirers of contemporary Cuban art but for the wider art community as well. Franco's multifaceted works, embodying a synthesis of cultural, philosophical, and artistic influences, are poised to offer viewers a profound and immersive experience. His installation, along with the inclusion of previously privately-held pieces, will undoubtedly provide fresh insights into his creative journey. Franco's lectures, expected to delve into the depths of his artistic vision and process, will further enhance the understanding of his unique contribution to the art world. This exhibition is not merely a display of artistic mastery, but a testament to the enduring power and relevance of cultural dialogue in art, making it an essential visit for enthusiasts and scholars alike.
The Kendall Art Cultural Center (KACC), dedicated the past six years to the preservation and promotion of contemporary art and artists, and to the exchange of art and ideas throughout Miami and South Florida, as well as abroad. Through an energetic calendar of exhibitions, programs, and its collections, KACC provides an international platform for the work of established and emerging artists, advancing public appreciation and understanding of contemporary art.
The Rodríguez collection is a blueprint of Cuban art and its diaspora. Within the context of the new MoCA-Americas the collection becomes an invaluable visual source for Diaspora identity. It represents a different approach to art history to try to better understand where we come from to better know where we are heading.Read More