Elio Rodríguez(Havana, 1966))

At first, one might find the work of Elio Rodríguez shocking or unusual, especially those who have taken the premises of negritude or blackconsciousness too seriously. Or those who apply an introspective approach related to the traumatic psychological experiences that the famous psychoanalyst from Martinique, Frantz Fanon, explored in his writings. In fact there is no painful exploration of his existential condition as a black man in the works of Elio Rodríguez. There is no trauma. No black lament. Neither can we find any thirst for vengeance. No revanchism.

Tropical (From Remakes series)

In the work Tropical, the casting changes totally. The Macho's masculinity is no longer the object of desire of a hypothetical tourist, but a homosexual, a black gay who, wrapped patriotically in the Cuban flag and with a red beret, promotes himself as the sexual fantasy of the floral-shirted tourist. The crown or banana halo behind this character is probably a reference to the famous singer and French dancer of Afro-American origin, Joséphine Baker (1906-1975), known in Cuba as La platanitos (the banana woman), who sometimes wore an extravagant skirt made only of bananas to make her negritude more exotic in the eyes of the French public of those days. The black gay is not a common figure in popular Cuban imagery, and may be considered a contradiction, since manliness has always been the most important feature of the stereotype constructed around the black man.

Year: 1996
Technique: Screen print on paper
Size: 70 x 50 cm

Theme: gender identity race