Larga Distancia (Long Distance)
This painting depicts two young Cubans sitting side-by-side. The woman converses on an old rotary phone while her partner listens in. The painting touches on the distance between people living in Cuba and their relatives who are far away in another country. Many Cubans experience the loss of friends and family who immigrate to another country—the phone becomes the only way of communicating with their loved ones. The cold white background symbolizes the lack of warmth when talking to someone on the phone as opposed to in-person. The female model has her own image tattooed on her left shoulder.
This painting explores how proximity and union, ever-present aspects of Cuban society, inform notions of solitude and intimacy. This composition depicts a mundane event, an everyday scene of island life—a snapshot where the distractions of urban life are minimized, bringing the viewer's attention to the present moment.
Sanchez's oil portrait paintings, carefully rendered with classical technique, focus on Cuban current events and politics. The artist's use of realism produces “an authentic and inescapable illusion of existence” that brings the viewer into a close relationship with Sanchez's subjects—the artist's fiancée, family, friends and acquaintances. These figures embody the warm-yet-stoic nature of Cuban culture that has changed little over time; each figure is a reminder to the world of what has been lost. Sanchez excels at creating scenes of togetherness and social unity.
Gabriel Sanchez’s oil portrait paintings examine Cuban current events and politics. The artist employs a classical technique, achieving a realism that brings viewers into a close relationship with his paintings’ subjects. Sanchez creates scenes of togetherness and social unity populated by figures drawn from his own life—characters that serve as exemplars of the warm yet stoic nature of Cuban culture.