Andy Llanes Bultó (b. 1987) employs materials like gold leaf and oil paint to create works that delve into the enduring significance of the human figure in art. Drawing from a rich historical tradition, Bultó reinterprets the nude body through depictions of intimacy, conflict, and interdependence. His meticulously crafted compositions of men wrestling, bodies entwined or involved in intimate interactions, are reminiscent of classical aesthetics. Inspired by artists like Eadweard Muybridge and Francis Bacon, Bultó’s paintings blur the line between violence and tenderness, presenting figures engaged in ambiguous gestures that defy easy categorization. His work invites viewers to contemplate the complexities of human relationships. Born in Havana, Cuba, Bultó’s moved to Kentucky Louisville, where he finished a residency at 21c Museum Hotels last year.

ABOUT Andy Llanes Bultó

Born in 1987 in Artemisa, Havana, Cuba
Lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Andy Lanes Bultó, born in 1987 in Artemisa, Havana, Cuba, graduated from the provincial academy of plastic arts and later from the higher university institute of art of Havana.

Employing specific aesthetic and symbolic traditions to examine contemporary orthodox maleness, Bultó’s practice extends the rich heritage of the nude figure in Western art, from the Late Stone Age through ancient civilizations, the Renaissance, Baroque, and Modernism. Utilizing traditional techniques and materials like gold leaf and oil paint, Bultó explores themes of desire, seduction, intimacy, conflict, and ritual. “Gold is,” he says, “a material of seduction, and one that I use to elicit the viewer’s desire to possess.”

Bultó innovatively uses paper-based works hand-dyed with pollen from carnivorous plants. This choice is rich with metaphor, comparing the real and symbolic qualities of pollen—a vital attractant essential for life—with the allure and status of gold and human desires. The predatory nature of these plants blurs the line between intimacy and deadly conflict.

Bultó’s figures appear to consent to intimacy, almost dancing. In Cuba, he says, nearly everything relates to dance, a legacy of Spanish colonization blending with Afro-Cuban culture. Conjuring connotations of colonialism, conquest, and romance, Bultó questions the intersectionality of cultural and natural conceits, highlighting parallels between human life and the natural world.