We are Sandra Rodríguez and Emmanuel Díaz, we are visual artists, we have been a couple for 16 years, and we have worked as a duo for ten years. We were both born and raised in Cuba.
In 2002 and 2003, we successively entered the Matanzas Professional School of Arts, where we stayed for four years.
After graduating we began to participate in different events. We have been fortunate to have received several awards throughout our career. Some of the most remembered are the First Prize at the “Roberto Diago” Hall in Matanzas in 2009, the prize from the “René Portocarrero” Screen Printing Workshop at the XIII Winners Event at the Center for the Development of Visual Arts in Havana in 2010, and the Prize at the XXI National Erotic Art Salon in Havana in 2015.
At first, we created individual works, but in 2011 we decided to paint the work “Reoffenders” together. We both enjoyed the process, the complementation, and the constant exchange of ideas and technical solutions; thus, this way became our main philosophy.
We continue painting, experimenting and searching for a language that is increasingly our own. We began to work with some galleries, and we had the opportunity to take our work to other events such as the “ISOLE” Painting Biennial in Italy in 2011, and the 12th Havana Biennial in 2015.
In 2012 we both began to study Art Restoration at the University of the Arts of Cuba (ISA) in Havana. It is a specialty with a much more technical approach where we learned about materials and procedures that were novel for us. It is a fascinating universe where we better understood the behavior of painting materials and how they react over time. We acquired valuable resources and tools that we later apply in our creative work.
In 2015 we had the opportunity to come to the United States, and after a first year in Naples then we settled in Miami. This country meant a process of adaptation and self-discovery, the birth of a new identity and its connection with the previous one. From this catharsis new series have been born, such as "Intellectual Collapse", "High Fly", and the most recent "Theoretical Corpus". Our work has continued to evolve and connect with a growing audience. It has had the good fortune of being approached by specialized critics and appearing in art magazines such as “Latin American Art” and “CdeCuba”, as well as in the New Herald and other newspapers. We have participated in art fairs such as Miami River Art Fair in the Context Art Basel 2018 and Art Palm Beach 2019, and in exhibitions such as “Vision of Cuba” in 2019 and "Corpus" in 2020. Currently we continue working, focused and looking for new ways to expand our art.
In our work there is a predominance of painting, although there is also drawing and installation. We approach the portrait and the body as a topic to discuss other deeper areas of the human being. We have always believed that for an artist it is very important to have a work that is unique and different. We have studied and we have worked with the aim of developing a totally original work with its own stamp. It has been a path of personal search, technical and conceptual experimentation for more than ten years.
Although we paint from a realistic language, we do not do it in the traditional way. Our work is "painted" through the repetition of small elements that are discovered when observing the work closely and carefully. The surprise produced by the meeting of two complementary realities is precisely our way of communicating.
One day ten years ago, I was about to start a new painting but wanted to do something different. My dad is a mechanic in Cuba, and he has always had his workshop in the backyard of the house where I grew up. Then it occurred to me to take nuts, sprockets and other old pieces, smear them with oil colors and repeatedly stamp their shapes on the canvas. Thus, was born "Identity", a self-portrait with which we discover this way of painting. Then we wanted to continue testing new shapes and symbols, so we used letter stamps and bird shapes. And we probably will not resist the temptation to keep experimenting with new elements in the future.