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José Manuel Mesías in conversation with Ivy Huang

Joined in conversation with RU curator-in-residence Ivy Huang at the Cuban Artists Fund studio, Cuban artist José Manuel Mesías (2023 RU alum) discusses his engagement with birds, multilayered realities of Cuba, and collection of fragments in his practices. From everyday objects to historical relics, Mesías contemplates on the timely and the untimely objects and memories in the personal and collective realm.


José Manuel Mesías is a Cuban artist who specializes in painting, drawing, video and installation. The latter being a medium for which he often focuses his practice on the object, its found status and its story. His work roots itself in both the past history and contemporary context of Cuba. It often looks back to the time of the Independence wars in Cuba in the late 1800s, a rare theme in contemporary Cuban art. His work reveals both personal and collective histories. It demonstrates the fundamental principles of the universe that can be manifested in the most insignificant objects and the most ordinary crafts.

Ivy Haoying Huang is a New York-based independent curator and writer who focuses on the philosophy of language, conceptual art, and in-betweenness in contemporary cultural productions. Her curated projects include Ritual of Repeating Insubstantiality at Chinese American Arts Council (Gallery 456), Tale of the Abandoned: Salvaged Works from Art School Waste with The Catchers Curation, Bodies, reciprocal motions: Yale MFA Sculpture Class of 2023 at YveYANG Gallery. She has assisted the Curator of Time-Based Media at the Smithsonian American Art Museum with Musical Thinking: New Video Art and Sonic Strategies (2023 – 24) for eight months. She is a freelance writer for Arte Fuse Magazine and her article has been published in Burlington Contemporary Journal 9.

This program benefits from the support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Cuban Artists Fund.

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