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Foto: © Claudia A.Cruz

Oandris Tejeiro was born in Santiago de Cuba, in the heart of the Caribbean, in 1979. He grew up in underprivileged neighbourhoods, where the population is mostly Afro-descendant. There he absorbed the essence of the suburban culture as well as the Afro-Cuban roots of his city. He experiences the daily conflicts of Afro-Cubans, men and women, who struggle to have a presence and a voice in society. Through the genre of portraiture he tells the stories of these people from the substratum of society in contemporary Cuba.

Oandris is a self-taught artist who began to develop his work employing different techniques and materials. For his portraits, he uses black and white tones that run like a thread through the stories he tells. The influence of the Rastafari culture and musicians of the urban genre (reggae and Cuban hip hop) play an important role in his art. Consequently, texts and fragments of everyday sentences related to the people he portrays appear in some of his works, attempting to establish contact and communication with the people who observe them.

In addition, Oandris studied socio-cultural studies at the University of Oriente and worked at the Casa del Caribe, where he investigated more closely the Afro-Cuban roots and racial conflicts of contemporary Cuba. He also explores unconventional materials, collage, and mixed media to give his works the formal synthesis necessary to express the essence of what his portraits are about in a reduced and pointed manner.

He was part of the exhibition Cuba adentro of the Luciano Benetton Collection. Oandris has exhibited his work in Cuba, Colombia, Argentina, Spain and Germany. In 2015, he was granted an art residency in Bremen, where he currently lives and continues to experiment with innovative materials and forms in the realization of new portraits.

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