a group of people looking at paintings on display
Attendees get a close look at some of the artwork by Cuban artist Carlos Guzmán during an opening night at the Florida Keys History & Discovery Center on Jan. 20. ALAEN LEDESMA FERNANDEZ/Contributed

The work of critically acclaimed Cuban artist Carlos Guzmán is on display at the Florida Keys History & Discovery Center through April.

One of Cuba’s most imaginative and creative contemporary painters, Guzmán combines fantasy and allegory in 22 otherworldly paintings and drawings. They’ll be on display until April 24 at the center in Islamorada. 

Guzmán’s artistic vision is filled with dreamlike figures in lavish costumes tinkering with strange technologies in a parallel universe. Each piece grabs the viewer, inviting them into a world of whimsy and magic.  

Represented in exhibitions around the world, Guzmán has participated in almost 100 collective and personal expositions. His creations are included in private and institutional collections in different countries. Among his most notable solo exhibitions are “The Magic of a Magic Instant” (Miami, 2013); “Changement des tons dans l’auvre de Guzmán” (Paris, 2012); “Carlos  Guzmán” (Portugal, 2010); “Another Dimension” (Saint-Martin, 2009); and “Sailing Your Nights”  (Havana, 2007). In 2014, Guzmán was selected to represent Cuba for the first time at the Fourth Annual Art Camp, “Colors for the Planet,” organized by UNESCO in Andorra.  

“I feel very honored and happy to be able to represent my country in this lovely, praiseworthy and  interesting event in which I aspire to pronounce and hold up our culture. It is an immense pride to be able to carry my creations to a country that knows little of the Cuban genuine moral values of culture and that for me is of great importance that she be acknowledged and admired,” said Guzmán. 

The exhibit at the Keys History & Discovery Center was inspired by the artist’s wife and her battle with breast cancer. The art depicts their journey through cancer, treatment and recovery. Walking through the gallery, people will gather a new perspective and relationship with the work. 

A little over 100 people attended an opening reception on Jan. 20. The artwork is available for purchase. Pieces range from $400 to $15,000. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the History & Discovery Center to fund future educational programs and exhibitions. 

Within Cuba, Guzmán has received the National Illustration Award “Raúl Martínez” in 2011. His work  was selected for the imagery for the 31st International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana.  He has also participated in several iterations of the Havana Biennial and Subasta Habana.

His work can be found in private collections and museums around the world, including Austria, Germany,  Monaco, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Russia, Portugal, the Basque Country, Brazil, Mexico,  Guadalupe, Venezuela, Spain, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, Trinidad & Tobago, Panama, France, the Netherlands, and the United States.