By Cristina Galvan & Mannie Miguel
Guest speaker Carlos Enrique Prado Herrera used humor in his art to show the hardships of growing up in communist-ruled Cuba while talking to students last Wednesday in the S2 building.
According to Prado, from 1992 through 1997 Cubans lived in deep crisis and did not have food, electricity or other basic necessities.
In 1994, at the age of 16, Prado had his first exhibition. He said that as a teenager it was hard for him to understand what was happening to his people and why suffering took place.
“My art was a way to express my personal experience. At the moment, it was a shelter for me,” Prado said.
His drawings portray people walking without having a destination or any goals.
Some of his artwork is a metaphor about traveling because people in Cuba cannot travel.
Prado created portable ceramic pieces shaped like torsos.
Some of these torsos have straps and handles attached in order to look like backpacks and bags.
The idea behind making these portable sculptures is to allow people to carry them around, so other people can buy them and take them to other countries.
Prado also talked about some of his other sculptures, which are toilets.
For Prado, toilets refer to privacy and he wanted to break the boundary between private and public scenes.
He first got into art when his parents took him to a museum as a child. “That opened for me a new world,” Prado said.
Prado graduated from Universidad de las Artes de Cuba (University of the Arts of Cuba) where he was also a professor for seven years.
Prado has been living in the United States for the past two years and he was able to bring his wife as well.
According to Prado, the Cuban artists’s work cannot be too political because the government would get upset.
Most of his work is still in Cuba and he hopes that someday he will be able to bring some of it to the United States.