Children, weapons, monoculars, household objects, animals and ancient images are some of the elements that distinguish Maykel Herrera’s work. This artist uses satire, irony and play to depict humanity’s most pressing problems.
As an introspective exercise, Herrera invites us to enjoy his figurative art that through abstraction and mixed media has a powerful impact on the spectator.
Every detail in his pieces has a purpose, that is why he works with no technical prejudice, without neglecting any resource. Herrera can turn even the slightest splash of color into a glaze or a hue. His paintings, full of symbolism and references, are appealing because of the mix of visual elements with psychological traits and behaviors, delivering a dynamic of movement within the work.
The links between good and bad, beautiful and ugly, high and low, light and darkness mark his creations with a duality that not only reinforces the driving idea of each piece but also supports the series of which it is a part.
What also stands out in Herrera’s work is the constant use of humour and mockery to highlight social problems, man’s imperfections and generally the issues that cause the most anxiety.
The artist told Cubaplus that these are recurring themes when he creates his pieces and are inexhaustible sources for him. “Irony, satire and comedy are the first phase of my work; from a smile you realize that something more serious lies behind, a reflection that can affect your life,” he said.
As a modern-day artist, Herrera is considered to be committed to his era and the message he wants to transmit, beginning with a work table from which he defines his criteria.
“For me art is what brings me to exercise my social criticism, review the behavior of human beings and express my satisfaction or dissatisfaction,” he says.
In this sense, images of children in his work reinforce the message he wants to bring across. Their contemplative, carefree and innocent character is juxtaposed with firearms or knives so that the viewer receives an image that can be interpreted in more than one way.
It is a constant theme that also helps him connect with and sensitize the adult public more quickly, says the creator of works such as Príncipes enanos (Dwarf Princes) and La verdad parece un sueño (The Truth is like a Dream), Although Maykel Herrera uses images of children in his work, it is only as an expressive resource, as a visual concept and to promote the link between artist and viewer, for a child could never understand the symbols in his paintings.
In 2014 he received the World Quality Commitment Award (Gold) from the International BID Quality, Innovation and Excellence Convention in Paris, France.
In addition, his pieces are part of private collections in countries like Germany, France, Spain, USA, Switzerland, Denmark, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, Italy, England, Bahamas, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Greece, among other countries where also he has participated in individual and group exhibitions.
Herrera is constantly reborn and reinvented. His creation process is endless, but it is done in an organized way and does not leave room for improvisation or spontaneity.
He has a well-structured way of working, believing that people who want to move ahead in life can go further and obtain better results if they do it this way.