This is
Inti Hernandez (1976)

Country of origin

In Amsterdam since

Lives in
Amsterdam West

Visual Artist

Common sense and bicycle policy in Amsterdam. 

Would like to
Get lost in the city and find out what Amsterdam has to offer. 

‘The eye contact with people. When I'm sitting in the tram during peak hour nobody looks at each other: This is different in Cuba!'

Favorite spot
‘My neighbourhood, the beginning of the Kinkerstraat in West. It's fun and I love it, it reminds me a little bit of Cuba Especially that people from you neighbourhood know you. When I go to the greengrocer with my son he always talk to us and give my kid a banana, I can really enjoy this. Or when we at the fish store and talk about our families. This is the kind of live you expect in a little village not at a city like Amsterdam.'  

“I am an artist. Through my art I was given the opportunity to live and work in Amsterdam. Here I met my Dutch wife, and we now have a daughter and a son together. I only speak Spanish to them. My mother wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t teach them Spanish so that she could speak to them. She finds my living here hard. She misses her son and misses doing all those things that grandmothers normally do.

My mother visited us here once. It was the first time she has been outside of Cuba. I doubt she’ll be back. Firstly, she’s quite old and loves pottering around in her own home. But she has standards very different to those in Holland. When I took her to the Van Gogh museum she looked in the souvenir shop and was confused. She said, “Inti, Van Gogh was in France who tried new things and nobody understood him. He lived a miserable life and ended up committing suicide. Don’t you think it’s strange that people celebrate and honour him?” His work is printed onto cups and coffee spoons. An eraser in the form of his head sits spiked onto the end of a pencil. She stared at all these items. And by looking through her eyes, I was able to understand that we are living in an extreme consumer society.

Personally, I find living here an enriching experience.  I have been given the chance to exhibit my work in the Ron Mandos gallery, and have learned the business side of things. I really love Cuba, and the life I led there. You learn to improvise there, while the Netherlands teaches you how to plan, even though control in this particular work is not recommended as it causes too much disappointment. The Cubans are mess stressed. Burn-outs don’t exist over there. I consider myself lucky to possess something from both worlds. This way, I feel very much in balance.”

127 people in Amsterdam have the Cuban nationality


Discover other stories