Danuel Méndez is an emerging voice in the world of contemporary painting who defies easy classification. The artist was born in Guines, Havana, Cuba in 1989. In 2010, he graduated from his Visual Arts training at the island’s prestigious San Alejandro Academy with a focus on painting. During this period of time, he participated in many group exhibitions at the San Alejandro Academy of Arts Gallery, the Academia de Artes Plásticas Eduardo Abela, and later in the collective exhibition Colateral at the 2011 Havana Biennial.
In the winter of 2016, Méndez left Cuba for Miami, where he still works and resides. His art has been exhibited at various international art fairs within the United States, including EXPO Chicago, Art Miami, Art Wynwood, the Dallas Art Fair, and Philadelphia Fine Art. The artist has been represented exclusively worldwide by Cernuda Arte since 2018.
Méndez’s work embraces the post-everything attitude of the 21st century by deploying a wide arsenal of painterly techniques within a single canvas, balancing realism with impressionistic and abstract expressionist tendencies. His oeuvre is psychological: from the early Obsessions series, in which a suite of portraits were arranged like a strip of film, each dedicated to an emotional state, to the more recent Lost in the Woods series, a bombastic meditation on returning to a primal Eden vanquished by modernity. The animal kingdom figures prominently into the artist’s conceptual project, with stampeding mustangs, great cats, and rabid packs of dogs frequently juxtaposed against lovers entwined or mother and child. These paintings explore the distance between the romantic and the cynical, the savage and the tamed. .
Most striking is the artist’s palette, a color story which spans a greyscale dry brush to a densely-applied, tropical impasto. These blurred lines, both literal and figurative, capture the turbulent and beautiful sensation
of a complex world in constant motion.