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Cuban National Prize of Visual Arts 2018 to José Ángel Toirac 15 November, 2018

Cuban National Prize of Visual Arts 2018 to José Ángel Toirac

José-Angel-Toirac

Yesterday in Havana, the National Council of Plastic Arts (CNAP) presented the highest recognition granted in Cuba to creators of the visual arts for their lifetime body of work, granting the Cuban National Prize of Visual Arts 2018 to José Ángel Toirac.

ARTempoCuba is so proud of our friend, mentor and colleague. We wish him and his wonderful wife and life partner Meyra Marrero well deserved congratulations! Ask any Cuban art student or art historian about Toirac, only one word comes to our minds: genius. Toirac is a genius, is a master, is not only a great artist but an intellectual in every sense of the word.

Nothing is better than Toirac’s own words to talk about his creation: “My work is realist to the extent that I take as an object of study not reality but it’s image, the combination of visual habits that condition our comprehension and conception of the world. In this sense, I accept Sartre’s maxim that what is important is not what we do, but that which we do with what has been done to us”.

Toirac’s obsessive research about Cuban history from the personal to a global perspective created several series and outstanding solo shows like our favorites “Mare Magnum Mare Nostrum”, “Crisis a los 50. Ninguna historia es inocente”, “Vanitas”, and others where he is able to open an interior debate and reflection on every spectator.

Cuban Artist ARTempoCuba José Angel Toirac

1995. Oil on Canvas. 180 x 120 cm. Collection: Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba.
(This parodies a photo by Korda taken of Fidel Castro in the Sierra Maestra mountains, and really draws upon the self-portrait Cristo-Morfo that Alberto Durero did when 28 years old, the same age as Toirac in 1995 when he created this work.)

 

His work is among the most important public and private collections of contemporary art, among which the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Center G. Pompidou in France, Daros Latinoamerican Collection, Zurich, Museé des Beaux-Arts in Montreal, Canada, Ludwig Forum Aachen, Germany and of course our National Museum of Fine Arts in Cuba.

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Museum of Fine Arts of Houston, Biennale di Venezia and the Havana Biennial have had the opportunity to exhibit their work, and so on.

Many congratulations for José Ángel Toirac, for almost thirty years dedicated to the exercise of creating art, the most brilliant way to recount the history.

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