Mercedes Peña is well known in Texas and California for her vibrant and colorful paintings representing her childhood memories of Cuba. Her family was forced to flee Cuba after the murder of her father, but she returns to her homeland through her art.
In her upcoming sculptural installation, she has moved beyond her retablos’ stories. Newspapered, monochromatic figures inhabit the space beyond the palm tree entry gates, each grouping acting out superficial routines of daily life. These familiar acts belie her obsession with Cuba and her sense of displacement. Unlike the paintings, which hang before the gates, her sculptures tell of how Cuba continues to affect her interaction with everything from the mundane to the profound in life. The print on every piece repeats the very word “Cuba”.