Damian Valdes Dilla

1970 China

Damian Valdes Dilla
Damian Valdes Dilla

Damian Valdes Dilla enjoyed drawing from an early age. In his late teenage years, he graffitied bus stops, car parks and other public places in...

Damian Valdes Dilla enjoyed drawing from an early age. In his late teenage years, he graffitied bus stops, car parks and other public places in his home town of Havana. Damian was forced to quit school at the age of 17 due to serious psychiatric issues. He apparently committed himself to a psychiatric institution after developing feelings of aggression towards his family. Even with medication, it was no longer possible for Damian to lead a normal life. Following a failed marriage, he now lives together with his mother in a small apartment in the Cuban capital.

Approximately five years ago, his fascination with cities resulted in the creation of wooden sculptures and subsequently in constructions using recovered materials, with towers up to 1.5 metres high. In 2014, the realisation dawned on him that it was more practical to draw cities than to build them. He works quickly with a precise sense of composition, often on large canvases. The eclectic, minutely detailed cities that he conceives are frequently the stage for armed conflict, but dependent on his mood, they can also form the tranquil scenery of a peaceful world.