about Yoan Capote

Born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, in 1977, that’s right after traveling from Havana, where now he works and lives, to New York that Yoan Capote used his own luggage to create Nostalgia, a piece that embodies, in a poetic manner, the situation of traveling and immigration. The interior space of his suitcase, as an allegory of a window, was closed with the bricks of Manhattan. The baggage is always the object that contains our memories and more important things when we are traveling. The brick wall and its weight create a metaphor about the impossibility of returning and also about the barriers we carry in life.

Nostalgia” is probably a fundamental key to enter the world of Yoan, the condition of an artist in general and our time. And it’s probably also an essential element, a kind of consequence of an open mind. Another of Yoan’s works, exactly entitled Open Mind, inspires a deeper reflection on the interrelation among persons, who attempt to coexist with each other. Designed as an underground park made with walls, Open Mind is a labyrinth based on the drawing of the human brain where any class of spectator from any kind of background — political, race, religion, culture etc. — can walk. People become metaphors for neurons transmitting information as they walk around the maze, the result is astonishing.

Yoan’s work, known to be “solid”, “irreverent”, “provocative”, and “non-conformist” — according to some art critics — deals principally with interactions between individuals and his psychological experiences, as also in the case of In Love, inspired by Constantin Brâncuși’s The Kiss, which evokes the relationship or contradiction between love and sexuality, Rational where a brain for a scrotum embodies the dichotomy between pleasure and fear, thought and desire, reason and instinct, or Old Speech, consisting of an audio equipment made of stone, bronze and iron submerged beneath the sea for six months to provide a metaphor of the obsolescence of ideologies and political systems. Another interesting piece is called Will of power, and can be used by or interact with public, but the conception of risk and difficulty intrinsic in the action of ascending and maintaining a high position on the stairs, is a metaphor about greed and human nature.

Working at the same time with different medias and genres — painting, photography, performance sculptures and installations —, Yoan received the UNESCO prize during the 7th Havana Biennial with the artists’ collective DUPP — Desde Una Pragmática Pedagógica.


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