Carlos Gamez de Francisco

Painter Carlos Gamez de Francisco was born in post-revolutionary Cuba in 1987. He moved from his native home to the United States in 2008, at the age of 21, where he quickly spent the majority of the $650 he arrived with on art supplies. He devoted his first five months in the country to studying English, working, and painting diligently through the nights until he began to establish himself as a successful professional artist.

Growing up under the academic strictures of the Russian Academy, his formal training revolved largely around the opulent portraits historically commissioned by the ruling and wealthy classes in Europe and Russia. Classical training and countless hours of practice gained him technically exacting painting abilities, and in his artistic practice he employs his mastery of the medium to turn tradition on its head with his delightfully witty, surrealist paintings. 

"In Cuba, I was exposed to figurative arts by the presence of the Russian Academy. This presence, as well as the censorship of contemporary art and the limited access to information, was the accepted dogma. Consequently, I understood that decontextualizing epochs and artistic symbols was the tool I could use to establish a connection between the present and the past. The resulting work provides an escape from reality and creates an illusory world. I am more fascinated in altering history than depicting it accurately."

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