The symbology of the work of Victor Huerta Batista, by Mark Schneider
Creacion un arbol (Old Havana with large papaya tree)31" x 23"
Based on a song by Carlos Varela, the tree grows up in the middle of the city. It deals with the human need to explain everything. Some say the tree was a gift from heaven, and others say it was a gift from hell. Maybe the branches of the tree could travel to Miami, maybe the tree is the creation of the enemy. The police eventually create a fence around the tree, and then cut it down, and cart the branches off to distant parts of the island, hiding them from the public. The artist is also asking the question, “do people appreciate an extraordinary tree”?
“Viajar no es el problema” #2.( Travel is not a problem, #2).31" x 23"
The dog is a representation of the artist, and the cat his wife, and muse. She is his face to the public, and the world, as she promotes his work. His is an interiorized and introspective man, she an outgoing and gregarious woman. The husband provides support. I am the dreamer and she is my representative. She permits me to dream. Fallen trees represent a path to liberty. The path must be cleared, in order for me to get to my goals. The ax is the tool of the woodcutter, who is a pathfinder, who clears the way for others.
“El Vuelo del Guanajo”. (The flight of the turkey) #3 in the Viajar series. 31" x 23.5"
In Camaguey, in central Cuba, the birthplace of the artist, and a cultural center of Cuba, a neighbor of the artist related a fable about turkeys flying away from the dinner table. There is a fantasy that Cubans have, about using anything possible to escape the island, and their fate. The possibility of harnessing a giant bird, and using it as a means of propulsion. Can it take us to our new life. Is it possible? Can it fly? If it flies, will it go far? Can it go all the way? Notice how the bird has taken flight, but it hovers above the Cuban island. It is on it’s way, but it has not yet left the island. The artist is portrayed as a dog, which is symbolic of the life of an artist, never getting their just reward from their career. Here he is also the pilot, leading the way, as the pathfinder.
“Viajar no es el problema” #4. ( Travel is not a problem, #4).27" x 19"
This painting represents the artist’s idealization of people who have grand visions, and do not lose hope. People who believe in something, and do not let that go. The fruits represent mature and intelligent people who do not have the skills to deal with their problems, and challenges. It is better to risk your life for some type of success, than to stay safe, and spend your life watching people taking risks.
Las musas del tiempo y la razon (The muse of time and reason).16" x 36.75"
A portrait of the artist’s wife, posing in a rather baroque setting. The wife is huge in comparison to the artist, who is in awe of her. She appears to be quite comfortable, and yet rests her head on a cinder block. Even when things are really good in Cuba, it is never really comfortable.
Como los peces #1 (Like the fish)31.5" x 18"
Based on a Carlos Varela song, of social political music. For transition, or immigration, you need a vehicle like the fish. The fish represents a form of magic or belief. The artist sits in the foreground, and is a witness to the creation. The questions linger. Can this fish achieve any success in the transport of it’s hopeful clients? If the fish does achieve this success, will the passengers drown? Will it swim, fly, or? Again the cut trees represent the cleared path, and the engine, represents the mechanics required to make things happen.
Las musas del tiempo #2 (The muse of time #2) 31.5" x 15"
This is a portrait of the artist, and his wife. He is safely sheltered by her, and rests snuggled under her bosom. She is portrayed as an angel, as she guides his career, provides the marketing and representation necessary for his career to flourish, and provides this task of marketing that he cannot relate to, and is in awe of. The machines represent the mechanics of a successful relationship. What is necessary, and required to make things work.
Temporadas de reincarnacion ( The transition through reincarnations).31" x 23"
Relations between a man and a woman. Suggestions of the connection between two souls from one life, to the next. The eyes of the Divine, following our transition from one life to the next. The noose represents the inability of society, or the governing authorities to hold someone accountable, once they have moved on. Try to catch me now, the artist seems to be saying. The pillars represent the institutions that rule, and appear to be representing the people.
El lenador sin bosque – (The lumberjack without a forest).39" x 25"
The artist often times creates a portrait to say I exist. There is a need for respect on the part of many artists. The artist needs a symbol of respect, the knowledge that their contribution is significant, and acknowledged.
Islas #2 – (Islands #2).27" x 39"
The whole of Cuba is packed into a boat. The ax represents the ability to clear the path, but also renewal. The boat represents the vehicle that provides the means for a new life. New beginnings.
Islas #1 – (Islands #1).34" x 50.5"
The second one in the series. Number 2 is the upbeat version, and this one is more gothic, or ominous. There seems to be a feeling of impending doom. A real question of what is on the other side, or perhaps the suggestion that the other side has already been reached. There are no signs of life on the boat. Where has everyone gone?
Un Viaje con la de pialo ( voyage of the penis).34" x 50.5"
The rocket is filled with hopeful artists, ready for their careers to take off. Perhaps regional artists, whose hopes and dreams of a successful career, and acknowledgement from their peers, and the arts community, hinge on the support of a patron. The faces in the rear are patrons, gallerists, and others who have promised the success and recognition. They are offering the fulfillment of dreams. Yet, they bear witness to the lack of a launch. The ship is a wooden penis. It has no chance of flight. There is no aerodynamic ability. They are making promises, and supposedly providing the vehicle, but it has no possibility of flight. Almost as if they are mocking the artists. In Cuba, the penis is also a symbol of BS. Like a dickhead. The flowers in the foreground are representative of the bed of roses. The promise, but not the fulfillment.
Lunes(The moon, also known as Freak tree).42" x 54"
The tree forms protection from both the clouds, and the difficulties of the earth. It allows people to get their feet off the ground, and escape the challenges of their lives. A great sanctuary. The ability to lift themselves up.
Despues de la conquista ( After the conquest).49.5" x 34.5"
Everyone is his or her own island, focused on their dreams, and their visions. I have my problems, and my challenges. Do I really have to think about yours? There is also an allegory to colonial rule. After the conquest of the island we can focus on simpler matters, like the conquest of a spouse. The conquest of our personal situation, our personal circumstances. The women (puppets) represent the island having been conquered. It is a man made conquest. A conquest of our own making.