Imitate Modern presents the first London solo exhibition dedicated to the Cuban-born artist CB Hoyo. A self-trained artist – “I started painting before I could talk” – Hoyo creates work that playfully questions artistic authenticity and monetary value in an era defined by fake news and social media. Keeping It Real, opening on 8th February, will present around 20 “new fakes” inspired by the likes of Jean-Micehl Basquiat, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.
Hoyo’s prolific output across an array of mediums and materials – from monumental spray-painted murals, to works on canvas and sculpture – has seen the young artist rapidly achieve international notoriety. Combining humorous, satirical slogans with his own painterly renditions of art historical masterpieces, the artist first gained a devoted audience through sharing his art on his Instagram feed. Today, he receives commissions for murals across the globe and has been named by Artnet among the ten rising stars of the world of street art. Recent murals include those created at Bayahibe in the Dominican Republic, at Miami’s legendary Wynwood Walls during the 2017 Art Basel Miami Beach art fair, and at COYA in London’s Piccadilly.
Hoyo’s paintings are both playful and provocative. “People forget that art is a way of expression, of having fun and that it should bring joy” he says, and his paintings satirise an art world that is often seen to celebrate monetary value above all else. Slogans are scrawled over familiar works by the likes of Rothko, Basquiat and Hirst – The Richer I Am The Less People Will Question My Fake Rothko, Calling Yourself a Collector is Just a Fancy Way of Saying You’re a Hoarder, The Art Dealer Told Me This Fake Rothko Would Make Me Feel Rich, This Basquiat is Fake, But it Still Gets me Laid…This humour is coupled with a prodigious and instinctive painterly skill as Hoyo pays a tongue-in-cheek homage to many of his artistic heroes.
CB Hoyo was born in 1995 in Havana, Cuba, emigrating to the Dominican Republic at a young age. Today he lives and works in Belgium.