The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Archive of Visual Arts

Correspondence: In Relation to Goya-Victor Huerta Batista

Victor Huerta Batista, La barca Habana (The Havana Boat), 2005

June 21, 2007 – September 30, 2007

In 1949, when Alejo Carpentier penned the phrase “lo real maravilloso,” he articulated a trend in 20th century Cuban arts toward the creation of magical realities: real experience meshed with fantastical imaginings, personal mythology nuanced by political critique, precise rendering amidst strange artificiality and psychologically charged atmospheres.

Born in Camagüey in 1972, Victor Huerta Batista is heir to this “marvelous real,” and to Cubanidad, the hybrid Cuban-ness that derives from the island’s long history of cultural fusion. In dialogue with an unusually complex set of art historical precedents, his work also channels the ingenious machine-drawings of Leonardo da Vinci; Christian iconography of the Renaissance; Mannerist emphases on irrational space and private symbolic vocabularies; and the idiosyncratic dream-worlds of Surrealism.

The work is representational, often erotically charged, sometimes foreboding, and in its many references to modes of transportation, implies a consuming desire for escape. As is true of Goya’s Los Disparates, Huerta’s images communicate an elusive vision, at once highly personal and politically evocative.

Victor Huerta Batista is based in Havana, Cuba. This exhibition, which features 18 paintings in acrylic on canvas, marks the artist’s debut U.S. museum presentation. Curated by Dr. Lisa Fischman, Chief Curator.


All works courtesy MLA Gallery, Los Angeles.

Victor Huerta Batista’s work is represented by MLA Gallery, Los Angeles

Organized to complement Goya’s Mastery in Prints, the presentation of Francisco de Goya’s four major print suites, the exhibition series Correspondence: In Relation to Goya showcases contemporary artwork that ­ in risk-taking originality, clarity of vision, and passionate quality ­ resonates with Goya’s legacy.

Also see the related exhibition, Goya’s Mastery in Prints: Los Disparates