By: Omar Ríos González / Photos by Courtesy Pedro Yoan Batista
Generally, people need to revitalize their work from time to time, and others enjoy having a spiritual gift and sharing it with the rest of us.
Among the latter is sculptor Pedro Yoan Batista Fuentes, born in the town of Caimito del Guayabal in western Cuba in 1976. With deep roots in his farm family, he prepared himself for what came most naturally to him in childhood, that is, his love for the land. Therefore, he studied and graduated as an agronomist to satisfy his family's needs to preserve their farming tradition. However, it was as an elementary school student that he discovered that sculpture held an even stronger attraction.
He started by using wood, and later learned to work with stone and marble, ultimately mastering bronze. All of this was achieved without formal schooling; he is self-taught.
His family was not happy about this; they could not understand why he would choose art when he had an agronomy degree. Over time, Pedro Yoan convinced them that his passion for expressing his ideas and transmitting his messages of love and fraternity toward people was paramount for him, and his family supported him in his constant search for ideas.
Those who admire his work include a small group with whom he shares his workshop in the countryside, and to whom he teaches his work techniques. This has turned him into a popular cultural promoter in Caimito.
Pedro Yoan nourished his art by reading every book on sculpting that he could get his hands on and by learning from the work of his idol, Agustín Cárdenas, an icon of the Cuban arts, who left Cuba in the late 1950's. Early on, he was obligated to make his own sculpting tools. When better times came, he was able to buy tools from carpenters and retired masons.
His motivations are countless. He is interested in everything and his ideas seem to multiply, mutate and suggest shapes. He has no special preference in his work, materials or manifestations. To him, it is like the love of a father for his children. There are no distinctions. He says he has sketches prepared for when he finds the right material to work with. He is in no haste. Sometimes he recycles already used material into a new piece of art.
His love for Carrara marble has lead him to visit buildings in demolition process, to find a piece of a destroyed sculpture that he will later reshape using the special love he has for ancient techniques. In his already long life as an artist, Pedro Yoan has experienced much success, as national and foreign media critics have praised his skills and techniques.
Several galleries and museums have exhibited his work, some of which is also in the hands of private collectors. His sculptures have been exhibited in Spain, Germany, France, USA, Mexico, Panama and other countries. Community projects such as “Todas las manos”, “Basta”, and “Urbe Condita”, are a testament to Yoan's altruism, for he has donated many of his sculptures to worthy causes. We envision a lot of success for Pedro Yoan in the near future, and predict that his love for people will bring him even more praise and success.
For more information