Carlos Luna: Beyond the Surface ends soon at the Reading Public Museum

Time is running out to see Carlos Luna: Beyond the Surface! The exhibition, which is on display in the Meinig Family and World Cultures Galleries on The Museum’s First Floor closes on Sunday, September 10, 2023.

One of the most dynamic voices in contemporary Latin-American art today, Carlos Luna (American, b. in Cuba, 1969) is the feature of a monographic exhibition at the Reading Public Museum this summer. The exhibition explores nearly 30 works that range from the late 1990s through his most recent productions.

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Born in Pinar del Río in rural western Cuba in 1969, Luna was raised in San Luis, known for its high quality cigars and tobacco plantations. He studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana and, seeking individual freedom, immigrated to Mexico in 1991, where he spent a decade in Puebla before arriving in Miami, Florida in 2002. During the past thirty years, the artist has formulated a unique visual language — a density of hybrid images — that consists of a magical blend of national identity, Caribbean folklore, Afro-Cuban traditions, visual and verbal puns, and personal familial memories.

The dazzling iconography of Luna’s paintings includes dancing Latin lovers; representations of Guajiro rural culture; symbolic animals such as the rooster, crocodile, horse, lion and elephant; and coffee and sewing machines from the domestic realm. Music, dancing, religion, and elements of the oppressive government of his childhood are also explored in his visually complex works. He builds up his compositions with multi-layered surfaces—bold outlines and intricate patterning—that contribute to the overall meaning and narrative of each work.

Carlos Luna: Beyond the Surface has received great reception. Visitors have praised the exhibit with comments such as, “This has been my favorite exhibit thus far!” and “This is a really great show. I enjoyed it a lot.” During his gallery talk, artist Carlos Luna said about his work, “If you are ready to show the world who you are, you have to be honest, you have to set aside external opinions…you have to do it and love it deeply!”

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Be sure to visit The Museum and experience this unique and inspiring display for yourself before it closes. While you’re there, check out some of the other fascinating exhibits: The Art of Collecting: The Luther W. Brady Bequest, Into the Limelight: The Art of Joseph A. Pecsenke, and The Robot Zoo!

The Reading Public Museum is located at 500 Museum Road, Reading, PA. Admission per day is: $10 adults (18-64), $6 children/seniors/college students (w/ID), and free to Members and children three years old and under. The Museum is open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Reading School District students are granted free Museum and Planetarium access and may be accompanied by two adults at no cost. Students must show a District ID card, and the adults who accompany them must show proof they reside in zip codes within the District.

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