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The art of Carlos M. Luis (1932—2013)

I was saddened this morning to learn of the passing of my friend & fellow artist Carlos M. Luis. He died earlier this month on February 2 .... here's an obituary in El Nuevo Herald (in Spanish). As detailed there, Carlos was/is an important force as an artist & art critic, especially in the Cuban art scene. I've collected some images here that i have in my collection to keep remembering him by.

carlos Luis

Carlos with Jess in his studio in Miami (more pics from this visit in 2005)

I collaborated with Carlos on two chapbooks, O, Vozque Pulp & ma(I)ze Tassel Retrazos, & featured his work a few times in Sleepingfish (which was actually why i was emailing him this morning .. to see if he had new work for the upcoming 10th anniversary issue, which won't be complete without a contribution from him).

O, Vozque Pulp

from O, Vozque Pulp (2004)



from ma(I)ze Tassel Retrazos (2005)

Here's an interview that Carlos & i did with Joyelle McSweeney.

I've been out of touch with Carlos these last few years so didn't even know he had cancer. He had plans to visit us last year in Rome, but they fell through .. that was the last i had heard from him.

Carlos loose

untitled ?

Carlos was & continues to be a big inspiration/influence on my own art .. in particular the way he incorporates asemic writing with collage & concrete/visual poetry .. often using chance operations inspired in turn by the likes of Cage, Beckett & Joyce. Not only did his work span disciplines & genres but he had a unique way of finding connections between ideas & mapping them in an engaging visual morphological space. There was a certain evocative force to his art, which is what powered our collaborations (my texts would be responses to his works).


from Walls for Finnegans



another from Walls for Finnegans

Carlos used to send me art through the mail, some of which found its way into the two mentioned collaborations, others which found their way onto our walls (what the desktop views i've been posting here recently don't show are the two pieces by Carlos hanging right over my desk .. & just last month when we moved into our new apartment i framed two more for the bedroom). Other art is from self-published booklets or collections of loose images (we had been thinking about doing another collaboration to combine with the other two into a full-length book).

One of the virtues of being an artist is that your art continues to live.

from Arquetexts (2005)

from Arquetexts (2005)


from arquetexts

from Arquetexts (2005)


from Arquetexts (2005)

from TELLTHISMUCH (2005) .. a collaboration with Wendy Sorin which i blogged about here

Un fuerte abrazo, Carlos, si tiene acceso a Internet donde se encuentra ahora ....


untitled (ink on paper)—gift from artist


>> next: Feral expressionism & primal beings in our own Becoming & in Basquiat

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