Yoan Capote

On Facebook on 9/26 (posted by Dani Andrade), this sculpture by Cuban artist Yoan Capote:

(#1) Racional (Engl. Rational), in a plaster and plexiglass version; Andrade refers to it as Male Mind, since it conveys that men think with their penises, literally that their brains are in their genitals

The sculpture exists in several versions, created in 2004-07. On the artist’s website, he says of the cast bronze version:

The sculpture embodies the dichotomy between pleasure and fear, thought and desire, reason and instinct.

On the artist, from the Jack Shainman Gallery (in NYC) site:

Yoan Capote uses sculpture, painting, installation, photography, and video to create analogies between the visual poetry of inanimate objects and the intangible world of the mind. He merges incongruous items, such as human organs and mundane objects, to plumb ideas of humanity. His work deals with the intimate and the personal while investigating constructions that are based in power and difference. In a 2010 ARTINFO interview with Scott Indrisek, Capote said, “Over-representation is not an issue for me; it’s actually a characteristic of pop culture that I’m intrigued by. In my case, I consider my use of iconic images a sort of Neuro-Pop, because my approach to the images is conceptual first and foremost. The common thread in all my work is that it is weighted in the condition of the human psyche.”

In Art in America 2006, Eleanor Heartney wrote of Capote’s work, “He creates paradoxical images with political and psychological overtones. In sculptures and beautifully crafted academic drawings, he rearranges the human body and reinvents the purposes of everyday things… Capote’s work is both thought provoking and humorous. He brings to mind the absurdist impossibilities of Rene Magritte, overlaid with a sense of nostalgia for physical experience in an increasingly digital world.”

Capote was born in Havana, Cuba in 1977, where he lives and works. The unique experience of being Cuban influences his work, which often deals with themes of migration or government that reference Cuban identity yet is universally accessible. He studied at the Provincial School of Art in Pinar del Rio, Cuba (1988–1991), the National School of Art in Havana (1991–1995), and the Higher Institute of Art in Havana (1996–2001).

Two more sculptures exploring the human body.

— Open Mind (2006-08), PVC, bronze, metal and glass:


From his website:

The image of a Brain was carved in a volume of PVC, creating the design of a maze. The sculpture functions like a model for a public art project. The idea is to create an architectural space, wich is opened to the access of any class of spectator from any kind of background (political, race, religion, culture etc… ). “Open Mind” is a project to build an underground park made with walls, constructing a labyrinth similar to the human brain and stimulating meditation while you walk through. There will be grass around the underground labyrinth and on top of the walls.

The project is ideal for an urban space, where the surrounding buildings allow one to view the people from above and look at them walking inside, like neurons moving and carrying information. lnside the installation, it will be minimal furniture. Meditative music, coming from the walls of the labyrinth, helps to create an environment of relaxation.

— In love (after Brancusi) (2004-07), wood and hinge:


From his website:

lnspired in the Brancusi’s piece “The Kiss”, 1908, this work recombines geometric shapes with a warm allegory of the human body. lt can be viewed in two positions (open and closed), the piece evokes the relationship or contradiction between love and sexuality. When the piece is closed, it creates the perfect geometrical shape (a cube). Like in Brancusi’s work, it represents love like a monolithic element created by a couple’s union. But when the piece is open, a sexual allusion breaks the mínimal perfection of the sculpture, revealing an intimate space.


One Response to “Yoan Capote”


    Thinking of two proverbs:

    Yiddish: “Ven der putz shteht, ligt der sechel in drerd” – When the prick rises, the brain is buried in the ground – and

    Scots: A standin’ cock has nae conscience.

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