AHEAD OF THE CURRENT: Carlos Garaicoa

Artist Carlos Garaicoa was born in Havana in 1967, just eight years after the Cuban revolution, and has been inspired by his hometown—and the political forces that shaped it— throughout his career. Though never trained as an architect (he focused his studies instead on thermodynamics and art) Garaicoa is clearly fascinated by building design and function, as his unusual and striking pieces—architectural models, renderings, models and photographs—suggest. He has crafted works with mediums ranging from crystal to wax candles, rice-paper lamps to thread, and has consistently worked across disciplines, tapping into not only architecture, but also urban planning, history, cultural studies and politics. In a new exhibit opening early next year, the Institute of Contemporary Art will present 12 recent works by Garaicoa that attempt to "articulate the failed outcome of social and architectural programs in Cuba." "Carlos Garaicoa," was organized by Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Associate Curator Alma Ruiz, and runs from Jan. 20 through March 25 at the ICA, 118 South 36th Street. For more information, go to www.icaphila.org.

Originally published on December 7, 2006