Juan Abreu was born in Havana in 1952. Writer, plastic artist and journalist, he fled the Cuban regime in 1980 on a boat. He resided for a time in Miami and currently lives in Barcelona. From 1990, he wrote in various Cuban newspapers.
Abreu is the creator of a provocative and deeply iconoclastic literary world. Among his different works stands out his testimony to Reinaldo Arenas, A la sombra del mar (1998). His short story, Rebellion in Catalonia, is a sharp acerbic to nationalism and to Catalan independenceists. His pictorial work has been exhibited in various cities around the world and is currently found in major North American museums.
In 2015, he gave himself a “mad task”, in his own words: to paint the portrait of all those shot in Cuba under the regime of Fidel Castro. The excessiveness of the project, soberly entitled “1959” (date of the takeover of power by the Castrists), is due to the number of people executed, several thousand. More than the victims of General Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile (1973-1990), the artist points out on his blog Emanaciones. (The number of dead and missing from the Pinochet dictatorship stands at 3,200 while those of Castro rise to 4,292 on the Archivo Cuba site, directed by Maria Werlau, in the United States).