“I started painting before I could walk”
Born in Cuba but raised in Dominican Republic, CB Hoyo is the hidden gem from Latin America you need to know about. His work is a colorful satire of society, with a point of view you might have never heard of:
“In Dominican Republic it really depends. There are some people who really value art and others who do like it but don’t value it. There are modern art museums there but it’s nothing like Europe. I actually moved here (Europe) because I didn’t know what to do with my life, and I had a family here, so I thought, why not? Here I studied hospitality, but in the past few months I have realized it’s really not for me. Art is what I want to do.”
“Last October I took part in an exhibition in Los Angeles. A group of artists known as “The Most Famous Artist” found me through Instagram when they were putting together paintings of Kanye West and they liked my work so they invited me to participate. Kanye didn’t come but we know he knew about it.”
Everyone knows these characters. Even if I erase Mickey Mouse’s face, you will recognize him, so why bother painting the whole thing?
I’m tired of pop. I want to see what’s after it, go beyond. Right now I’m working with two artists and I can’t give details of the project but we’re working on something big. Our goal is to change the world of art, to give it a new meaning. We are cooking something big.
“One of the artists involved in this project is John Paul Fauves. Actually, he contacted me. He told me when he found my work he saw himself reflected in my art and, in a way, he hated me because he thought that I was copying him. But then we got to talk and he told me that I was like a brother and he loved what I do and told me to start working together.”
“What I paint are usually things that were around during my childhood. I grew up in a quite international environment, so I noticed that it doesn’t matter where you come from, everyone knows certain characters. You might be in Taipei, in La Habana, and everyone knows who Mickey Mouse is. When you work with something that everyone knows around the world, it becomes much easier to transmit your message. It’s a little flame that helps spread the message.”
What I always say is money is paper, we give it the value we want, and with this series where I paint on top of money I want to represent that thought. For some people, when I paint a face in a bill it becomes worthless, but others might pay 200$ for that 1$ bill. Money’s worth is relative.
I don’t mock the arts world. What I mean is that once you have a name, everything you touch becomes gold. It doesn’t matter what you do, everything will be considered a masterpiece.
Art must be one of a kind, but what’s also beautiful about the world of art is that people can see it and appreciate it everywhere around the world. It would make me so happy if my message could reach more places.
I don’t like thinking too much ahead. I’m not worried about what success might bring. I just go with the flow. At the end of the day, nothing is perfect in this life, because perfection is relative.
“Insects are looked at as disgusting beings. But what I say is this is their world, we are the ones invading it. They were here first. We should learn to co-exist with all creatures. Or just because you consider another creature inferior you should exterminate them? You can’t create life so who are you to decide?”
I create artworks impulsively. If I see a fly in a wall I can create a series based on it. Afterwards I find and give it a meaning.
“I’ve painted since I have memory. I started painting before I started to walk. But I had never done it the way I’m doing it now. Since I moved to Belgium, because of the cold weather that kind of forces you to stay indoors, I found the time to paint. That’s why I started considering myself an artist after I moved to Belgium. Before that, I would paint one day and then maybe nothing else for a year. Right now, I produce a new artwork almost everyday. It’s become a big part of my life and the days I don’t create art I’m in a bad mood. I’m not myself.”
I took Botticelli’s Venus and started painting it as a black woman. I stopped it for at least six months. The inspiration just left. Then I started painting layers and layers of spray paint on it. I went to help a friend who was moving and I found piece of an old Japanese newspaper, so I added them to the Venus. At the end, I took a spatula and started removing layer by layer, so it looked like a scraped wall.
Opposites attract. Why would I be painting sad things? I’d rather paint something lively and cheerful to make life happier. My work is colorful because life is beautiul and we have to enjoy it.
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