B. 1978, SANCTI SPÍRITUS, CUBA
Wilfredo Prieto is one of the most internationally recognized Cuban artists today from the generation that emerged in the early 2000s. His work is highly conceptual and explores the tensions between spectator, space and objects through simple, yet psychologically charged installations. The following text from Galeria Kurimanzutto in Mexico City, who represents Prieto, aptly describes the significance and import of his practice: While some of his projects are very technically ambitious, the majority of his actions and gestures occupy extremely subtle territory, inviting a certain distancing from everyday experience. Appropriating from the world around him, the artist uses what is at hand to give form to radical, precarious and fragile gestures. His ideas, which function as open metaphors or narratives, are translated into the language of familiar objects and materials. Standing against contemporary society’s oversaturated, frantic rhythms, Prieto proposes communicating with the essentials: even when it risks going unnoticed, the simplest thing can often be the most compelling.
Prieto studied at the Escuela Profesional de Artes Plásticas in Trinidad, Cuba, from 1992 to 1996; afterwards he attended the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana from 1998 to 2002. During this period he was a member of the artist collective Galería DUPP (Desde Una Pragmática Pedagógica), with whom he received the UNESCO Prize for the promotion for the Arts in 2000. He has exhibited widely on an international level and his work can be found in prestigious collections around the world. He is the recipient of numerous awards that include the Guggenheim Fellowship (2006), Cartier Foundation (2008) and Fundación Botín (2013), among many others.