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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Armando Mariño studied first in Cuba and then abroad in Amsterdam, and his work has been exhibited widely in Europe and the United States. The present lot features a seated male nude facing a vivid blue wall. In this position the figure reveals his sensual bare back to the viewer demonstrating the artist's masterful painting technique and tendency towards rich, saturated colors. Reflecting on his own racially mixed identity, Mariño's narratives comment on the politics of power and exclusion. As a result, his works are doused with cultural symbols yet they are left ambiguous, utilizing humor and parody to allude to the stereotypes that Western society falls back on when considering otherness. The figure here is faceless, leaving only his body to be admired, thereby referencing what many see when confronted with the black male body. But consider the subject's perspective, who based on his positioning appears to be a model sitting for an artist; yet he is forced up against a wall, admired only for his rippling musculature, both as a symbol of brute force and sexual desire. The composition further references the act of painting by including anatomical studies, a still life and collage, bringing the viewer into the position of the painter himself, working in his studio.

Contemporary Cuba: Works from a Private Collection


Lot offered with No Reserve

Muerte del yo (The Death of the Ego)

titled "Pintura = Muerte del yo" left edge; further signed and dated "Por Armando Mariño, Agosto 2002" right edge
collage and oil on canvas
66 5/8 x 58 in. (169.2 x 147.3 cm.)
Executed in 2002.

$6,000 - 8,000 

Sold for $4,375

Contact Specialist
Sam Mansour
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1219
[email protected]

New Now

New York Auction 28 February 2018