René Peña(Havana, 1957)

René Peña's work is much more complex and clever than his splendid photographs suggest at first sight. Although it is true that his images hold their own very well, his comments and texts sometimes help to reveal part of this complexity. Pena’s reluctance to be classified as an artist with a special interest in racial problems, for example, is illustrative. In his impressive Man Made Materials series, 1998-2001, Peña focuses on the physical attributes of black people; their skin, noses, lips and buttocks, which racist ideologies have used as “racial markers” and which continue to be used as "inoffensive" stereotypes that identify black people.

From the serie: “Untitled Album”
Year: 1994-1998
Technique: Digital print
Size: 133 x 100 cm

Theme: gender identity race
From the serie: “Untitled Album”
Year: 1994-1998
Technique: Digital print
Size: 133 x 100 cm

Concept: gender identity race
René Peña(Havana, 1957)

René Peña's work is much more complex and clever than his splendid photographs suggest at first sight. Although it is true that his images hold their own very well, his comments and texts sometimes help to reveal part of this complexity. Pena’s reluctance to be classified as an artist with a special interest in racial problems, for example, is illustrative. In his impressive Man Made Materials series, 1998-2001, Peña focuses on the physical attributes of black people; their skin, noses, lips and buttocks, which racist ideologies have used as “racial markers” and which continue to be used as "inoffensive" stereotypes that identify black people.

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