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Birth year


Born in Country


Born in City


Lives and works in Country


Lives and works in City

New York



For the past Five years

, I’ve been painting masks and faces. I’m very attracted to ceremonial, magico-religious objects, such as idols, effigies, and fetishes. What fascinates me is the visceral and spiritual power, the intensity that emanates from these objects. I like images that stop you in your tracks, that inspire fear, with menacing or ecstatic looks on their faces.

In my paintings, I explore the relationship between the face and the mask. I am obsessed with the human face, which–along with the hands–is the most responsive and eloquent part of the human body. The face is the most individual aspect of a human being.

What does the face or the mask reveal or conceal?

The Poet Rilke said: “There’s many people in the world, but there’s still more faces, for each one of us has many.”

I love to observe the endless variety and diversity of human faces, what each one of us holds inside himself. I look for the unguarded moment in people’s facial expressions, the contortions of the human mask, the mystery of another human being.

When I paint, I know that I am going to paint a face, but I have not the slightest idea of the image that is becoming visible before my eyes. Chance is crucial to my work. The image undergoes a series of transformations until one image asserts itself above the others. Art for me is an act of discovery, and the challenge of finding the next step in my struggle to master the medium.


For the past twenty years, I’ve been photographing sections of the torn and weather beaten commercial posters that I find on walls and construction sites in downtown Manhattan. I take close-ups and extreme close-ups of these posters and take these details out of their original context, blowing them up, to create new works that I have printed in pigmented inks, on archival, one-hundred-percent cotton rag paper.

“Sentenat scopes out the walls and construction fences of SoHo, the Bowery, and the East Village, like a rare bird watcher, looking for the perfect detail that exists amidst the street’s messy vitality. The results look like nothing so much as carefully conceived graphic masterworks: out of a hastily painted building sign comes the subtle loops of Japanese calligraphy; seen from close view, a menswear ad looks like the work of conceptual artist John Baldessari.”

“Like so many New Yorkers before him, Sentenat has learned the art of finding beauty in unlikely places. ‘Rusty garbage containers, graffiti, weathered and buckled posters–these things are inspirational, ‘ he concludes.”

Andrea Codrington
I. D. Magazine
The International Design Magazine
November, 1996

Area/s of activity


Further specification

Oil & Acrylic

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CV / Biography Highlights

I was born in Havana, Cuba. I moved to the United States in 1961, and enrolled at Miami Dade Junior College in 1968. There I studied fine arts with Duane Hanson, Shirley Henderson, and Salvatore La Rosa. In those years, I majored in painting, and my heroes back then were Pollock, De Kooning, Kline, and Gorky. During this period in my life, I discovered Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptualism, Surrealism, Expressionism, The Cobra Group, creative photography, and other important avant-garde movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. The teacher who influenced me the most was the late Cuban artist Emilio Estevez, who died before he could fulfill the promise of his talent. Another important influence in my life has been the cuban writer Lorenzo Garcia Vega who encouraged me to paint at a very early age.

I have been living in New York City since the mid 70′s where i continue to work.

Mediums of interest

Photography, Painting, Drawing, Sound

Other mediums of interest



Pre Columbian Art and Culture | African Art and Culture

Edvard Munch | Max Beckman | Oskar Kokoshka | Leon Kossoff | Lucien Freud

Grunewald | Piero de la Francesca | Antonello Da Messina | Goya | Velazquez | Zurbaran | Soutine | Francis Bacon

Jorge Luis Borges.

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