Carlos Luna, born in 1969 in San Luis Pinar del Rio, Cuba, studied art and developed his career in Cuba for 11 years before relocating to Mexico in 1991. Since 2002, the artist has lived and worked in Miami, Florida. During the decade in Mexico, Luna enriched his unique iconographic language and refined his visual techniques. His work expresses the influence of the both the Cuban Havanah School, particularly influenced by Wilfredo Lam, as well as that of European Cubism and the forms of French artist, Ferdinand Leger.
Luna’s art embodies the internal struggles of an artist who has been uprooted. The sculpture titled, War-Giro best represents this struggle as a visual representation of duality, a common theme in Cuban art. The monumental sculpture is a double-sided figure standing over 7 feet tall with outstretched arms extending to the horizons. On the reverse side of the sculpture, the figure appears as a skeleton of itself in reference to the Mexican belief in death as a cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The front side of the sculpture presents a male figure wearing a Cuban Flag, obviously reconciled with his undeniable Cuban identity. Upon his head, is a hat or sombrero adorned with a rooster to symbolize male strength and masculinity. The rooster also represent the shamanistic meaning of nahual or other self, a term that provides each person with an animal counterpart to act as a spiritual guide for knowledge or advice. Placed in one of the open- palmed hands is the all-seeing” eye of an orisha, a symbol drawn from Santeria (a religion founded in 17th Century Cuba which related the spirit-world deities of the African Yoruba religions with the pantheon of Catholic saints). In the figures other open-palmed hand extended toward the west, Luna places the divine deity named, elegguá who represents the gatekeeper who stands at the crossroads between the earthly and the spiritual. Elegguá is the diety which aids the individual to make the necessary choices between the traditions of the past and the possible pathways to the future
War-Giro was generously donated to the MOLAA Permanent Collection by the artist and the Cisneros Capital Group. The sculpture currently is display in front of the museums glass door entrance.