José Bedia was born in Havana, Cuba in 1959. He graduated from the Escuela de Arte San Alejandro in Havana and from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba. Bedia emigrated to Mexico in 1991 and to the United States in 1993. Bedia’s interest in “primitive” cultures had driven him to take an almost anthropological approach to the structure and tone of his work. From the mid-1970s on, the work of José Bedia has been an encounter with the history of the Americas. This encounter has resulted in an ongoing dialogue with Amerindian, Afro-American, Asian and Euro-American cultures, defined by their own heritage and by the effects that the exchange between them has had on the formation of their cultural identities. From this perspective, Bedia’s art represents a project of cultural revindication and artistic invention, concerned with the correspondences and shaping of differences between the languages, beliefs and values of the peoples of the Americas.
With the spare use of color and no suggestion of three-dimensional volume, Bedia creates scenes that describe parallels between the postmodern and the pre-modern; Western and nonwestern; civilized and savage. As a complement to the image, Bedia places a brief text or caption, usually in the lower area of the piece, which serves as both cryptic adage and title. Sunka Wakan is Nakota for horse, literally translated; “mysterious dog.”
José Bedia and a few of his solo shows include: "Crónicas americanas" at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Monterrey, Mexico and "Jose Bedia: De donde vengo" a travelling exhibition presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Miami and the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego. His work is included in several public collections like the Ludwig Forum fur International Kunst, Aachen, Germany; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.