Franklin Álvarez Fortún
(Camaguey, Cuba, 1971 - )
Lives Havana, Cuba
Contemporary Cuban artist Franklin Álvarez Fortún began studying art in his hometown of Camaguey at the Art Vocational School, from 1983 to 1986, and the Professional School of Art, from 1986 to 1990, continuing on to study at the Superior Institute of Art in Havana, Cuba, where he graduated in 1998. He remained at the Institute as a professor of painting until 2001. Álvarez’s artworks often deal with contemporary social issues like poverty and migration and their impact on the individual. He has said he is interested in “how social changes and attitudes find expression in or on the human body through its actions.” In works ranging from an installation of portraits painted on punching bags to a series of works depicting figures flying through the air, Álvarez loads his brightly-colored, realistic portraiture with conceptual overtones that raise troubling questions about society.
Álvarez has received several awards, including the Raúl Martinez prize from the Superior Institute of Art in 1998 and a Pollock-Krasner grant in 2005. Álvarez’s work has been exhibited in Cuba, Belgium, China, Russia, Mexico, Spain, Chile, Germany, Italy and the United States and is in major collections worldwide, including the Farber Collection of Contemporary Cuban Art, New York City.