Born in Havana in 1985, Adrian Melis has lived and worked in Barcelona and Berlin since 2010. He studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in Havana, graduating from the Cátedra de Arte Conducta (Behavioural Art Department), directed by Tania Bruguera. He is one of the Cuban artists most widely known internationally. His videos, photographs and installations explore the relationship between the frameworks imposed by social, political and economic structures and the countering strategies used by individuals in their attempts to evade or subvert them. The protagonists of his works are the workers of socialist and capitalist economies, especially in Cuba and Spain.
Melis analyses two opposing economic systems and their differences regarding the social value of work: the lack of motivation in the Cuban system and the lack of jobs in a neoliberal country such as Spain. Productive models, political regimes and individuals articulate a critical yet poetic body of work.
Since 2006, Melis has exhibited in Cuba and different European cities such as Amsterdam, Warsaw, Santander, Barcelona, Madrid, Reims, Moscow, Basel, Girona, Vigo, Berlin and Munich. He has participated in art fairs such as Art Brussels (2015); ARCO, Madrid (2015); Swab, Barcelona (2014); Loop Fair, Barcelona (2011); the Pontevedra Biennial (2010); the International Festival of Cuban Cinema, Munich (2010); the Havana Biennial (2009); and the Beijing Biennial (2007). His work is included in the collections of MACBA, Barcelona, and the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw.