Untitled [Sikan, Nasako, and the Holy Spirit] 2010

Belkis Ayón
Queloides: Race and Racism in Cuban Contemporary Art

Curated by Alejandro De La Fuente


Curated by Alejandro De La Fuente

About the Artist

Belkis Ayón studied printmaking at the Instituto Superior de Arte. Her work focuses on the feminine character of Sikán and the origin myth of the Abakuá, an Afro-Cuban men’s secret society. In her article “Transcendent Belkis Ayón,” Dannys Montes de Oca Moreda describes this origin myth and its implications in Ayón’s art: “The artist reveals the social origins of the sect, associated with the caste of the house canoe, the capture of the maiden Sikán by the sacred Voice of Tanze the fish, and the sacrificial death of Sikán, which suggests the replacement of a primitive matriarchal society by a patriarchal slave society. She does this by raising questions about ‘desire,’ ‘possession,’ and ‘the power of the secret’ from a feminine perspective with overtones of race and class.”