Yanel Hernandez


There’s a cuban artist who’s been on the radar since he was 16 -  Yes, many painters, poets, and artist take years to be known. But Yanel Hernandez born in 1982 received his first award in 1998 as a teenager for his exhibition in the Galeria Academia de Ballet y Artes Plasticas in his hometown of Camaguey, Cuba. He went on to graduate from that academy in 2002 specializing in paint and drawing.

Yanel explores the diverse sociological and cultural interpretations that entail having black or mestizo skin in his series ‘Superfinos Negros’. In it he represents well known figures such as Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein and others with physiological features of the black race and he asks: what would history have been like if many of the well known figures had been black?

Yanel exposes themes that for centuries in Cuba had been forgotten: racism, mixed race, segregation and the difference in ethnicities. He proposes them in an ironic and questioning manner. His series gives homage to the image of black culture and references the rediscovery of Haitian and African ancestry as a prominent cultural legacy.

Aside from the numerous awards, recognitions and exhibitions in his hometown, Yanel does his part to extend his passion to his people. He is a member of the Asociación Hermanos Saíz (AHS) since 2000 and of the Fondo Cubano de Bienes Culturales (FCBC) where he serves as an independent artist. His work reflects his perspective on Cuba and mostly features an eclectic expression focused on a variety of topics, but mostly portraits with an emphasis in black and white colors.