“Diango Hernández series Drawings shows the image of a figure in conflict with the Cuban socialist system in which the artist grew up. This figure negotiates with the party membership book by whirling around the leaves, rearranging them in this way. During his attempt to locate himself in the world the artist considers himself to be confused and influenced by the political system. He no longer knows how to judge a system that has shaped and deformed him. Only with the means of art is he able to articulate the facets of this manipulation, the damages as well as the changes entailed in the act of positioning himself.”
Eva Schmidt: in: Was tun? Was geschieht? Zeitgenössische Kunst aus der Sammlung Rheingold, Publisher: Rheingold Collection, Feymedia 2010, p. 10
born 1970 in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba
lives and works in Dusseldorf
Born in 1970, Diango Hernández grew up in Cuba and studied industrial design in Havana during the early nineties. Just shortly after, he discovered that working as an artist interested him more. In 2003 Hernández decided to leave Cuba in order to emigrate to Germany.
“When looking at the résumé of Diango Hernández one can see the list of exhibitions he has taken part in printed over many pages. Venice Biennale 2005, Sydney Biennale, São Paulo Biennale, shows in Basel, London, New York. And yet, even art world experts do not automatically say: “Oh yes, I know him!”, when they hear his name. At the same time the artist, who was born in Cuba in 1970 and has lived in Dusseldorf since 2003, can not only boast an impressive artistic career. Hernández is also represented by renowned galleries from London, New York and Berlin.
Hernández’ talent was discovered very quickly: he came to Europe as an almost thirty-year old with 5000 drawings in his luggage. “In Cuba we do not have galleries. It was always a secret to me. What is a gallery, what does the market do?” the artist states. “When I moved to Europe, I knew I had a lot to learn. I was 33 years old and did not even know what a bank was.”
Hernández art is based on his memory. Cuba is a main topic, he often connects his own history with a humorous critique of capitalism and socialism. However, his works, often bizarre installations of everyday objets trouvés and old furniture, do not express this directly. “All memories are translated into something different, into the language of contemporary art”, he states.
To Markus Heinzelmann, director of Museum Morsbroich in Leverkusen and contemporary art expert, Hernández is “one of the most important younger and internationally recognized artists of the Rhineland”. Hernández was part of group exhibitions at Morsbroich two times. According to Heinzelmann, his works touch upon, “the existential [dimension] of life”. Hernández combines the talent for improvisation of his Cuban home country with the conceptualism of Western art history – “an amazing combination that speaks to heart and brain alike”. This, so the curator, “only the best art” is able to archive. “We plan to keep working with him as he is very good and right now close to his international breakthrough.””
Dorothea Hülsmeier: Diango Hernández; in: www.art-magazin.de - 06.07.2015,