Juan Travieso’s Design-Oriented, Colorful Paintings

by Victoria Casal-DataPosted on

Cuban-American artist Juan Travieso applies graphic design elements to figurative acrylic paintings that explore notions of impermanence and decay. Although colorful and lively, Travieso’s work circles around ideas that explore dark and personal subject matters. In 2012, Travieso was interested in using endangered animal species as an allegorical device that represented his forgotten childhood and experiences growing up in Cuba.

His more recent work involves imagery that is reminiscent of Soviet propaganda and cartoons, both representative of the Cuban revolution, in order to explore the relationship between the personal and the political (one of his paintings, a pastiche of propaganda imagery, is ironically titled Self Portrait). As a way to tie in contemporary elements, Travieso’s realistic portraits are broken up into colorful spaces and forms that, much like 3D models, speak to both their temporality and transition into the digital age.

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