Carlos Estevez was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1969. He was educated at the Elemental School of Plastic Arts “20 de Octubre,” the San Alejandro Academy, and the Superior Institute of Art (ISA), all in Havana, Cuba.
Estevez’s work has always gravitated towards spiritual and philosophical themes and from very early in his career he has been interested in the medieval era, which led him to discover alchemy. He became aware of its existence as a scientific and a philosophical tendency and applied it to his art. He also adopted the symbolism used by alchemists and included it in his work, making it part of his artistic language and bringing the centuries-old practice to life. One of the most important principles in Estévez’s work is related to transmutation, the central idea of alchemy, but instead of transmuting metals into gold Estevez is interested in human change and inner transformation.
He has distinguished himself through his iconography, which includes hybrid creatures, half human and half animals. His characters have human bodies and birds’ heads, or vice versa birdcages as bodies with human heads. He has created exquisite metaphors of parallels between the animal world and mechanical objects. In his eyes, all has been done before by nature, in the incredible and complex natural world. However, if we had to define Estévez’s work we could say that it is about his constant questioning of life and the surrounding world; it is his inquisitive overview of humankind and of his own place in the world.
Estevez was invited to the First Biennale of Contemporary Art in Martinique and last year he was awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Painters and Sculptors in 2015. His work can be found in many private and institutional collections, including the National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; the Bronx Museum, New York; Kunst Forum Ludwig, Aachen, Germany; and the Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona, among others.