Beatriz Santacana – Havana Cuba

Some cities have beautiful nicknames. Los Angeles is the City of Angels. Paris is the City of Lights. Havana has a distinctive nickname: Ciudad de las Columnas – the City of Columns. When you walk around Old and New Havana, you will feel as though you’re back in the 50s era. With all of its glorious colonial architecture, beautiful columns and gorgeously crafted doors, the vintage scenery is a sight to see. Havana is so full of life. Bathed in sunshine, Havana oozes a bright and vibrant demeanor due to the genuine warmth of its people. In addition, the pulsating energy of Cuban music is everywhere! It is very inspiring, and you can truly get lost in time.

While I was discovering Havana, while riding in a 1950’s glam pink convertible down the Malecon, and learning about its revolutionary past, I was astounded. I was especially astonished when my local friend brought me to the Santacana Studios to get inspired with some contemporary Cuban Art. It turned into a completely different vibe. The aesthetics were more modern and the contemporary art reflected a lively kind of peace and harmony.

“The human condition is the core of my art. I place my characters in a moment of change, sometimes as a lone figure, sometimes as a group, struggling with their conflicts, choices and differences. Evolution can only occur when we are free to question everything, including ourselves. As such, I try to provoke an irreverent questioning of all those pre-established truths and propose a self-aware reflection on the lights and shadows of human nature, its values and principles. In my sculptures I combine apparently incompatible materials: glazed ceramic and rusty sheets of metal, ancient iron pipes, wood from old lamp posts or wheels from unknown mechanisms. All these rejected elements–worn down and ruined for their original functions–, far from being at odds with the bright finish of ceramics, evolve to new meanings that provide them with a greater expressive force.” – Beatriz Sala Santacana

Beatriz Sala Santacana is a self-taught Cuban artist – sculptor, painter and ceramicist. She is also a native to Havana. She is a winner of seven contemporary art awards and her art has been exposed to various exhibitions. Among them is the individual exhibition “Alas para volar” in 2007, and the collectives “Alboroto Quieto” in 2013; and “No Constraints to Beauty”, at the Pompano Cultural Center, Florida, in 2018. At the Museum of Contemporary Cuban Ceramics, one of her murals is a permanent piece.

When I stepped into her Santacana Studio and Workshop in Havana, where she has a permanent exhibition of her artworks, I was amazed. I couldn’t stop observing her collection of the Angels’ sculptures that are beautifully crafted, expressing supernal energy and modern galore. Immediately, I wanted to bring one home with me. The beautiful Santacana Studio contained various smaller galleries to explore, including a line of jewelry on display. Beatriz’ works are in private collections in Cuba, United States, Spain, France, England, Germany, Australia, Kuwait and Hong Kong. You can also purchase some of her exquisite pieces at . I fell in love with Beatriz Sala Santacana’s works of art.

“No one can define style, but it can be identified. Both unifying and distinctive characteristics of the work of one artist in relation to another come together in style. This is a pivotal condition for authenticating art, which is always unique despite its existence in a geographical and temporal, historical and cultural context. Every artist ends up appropriating a style. The unusual thing, and perhaps challenging, is when the artist begins working with a style of their own. And it is even more surprising when the artist has no formal training. This is the case of Beatriz Sala Santacana, who has created a family, a society, a city, and a country.” – Juan Nicolás Padrón.

Elle Taylor