It belongs to the work my Africa


Matanzas limits with the counties of City of Havana and Havana for the west; for the east with Villa Clara's counties and Cienfuegos. The Urban historian Martínez Carmenate indicates that the first contact of the Europeans with the territory of Matanzas, happens in 1508 during the bojeo that Sebastián of Ocampo carried out to the Island, especially with the open bay located in the north coast where later the city, October 10 1693 would be founded. From final of the XVIII century and during the XIX century received big quantities of slaves that were employees fundamentally in agricultural work. During the XIX century had a great economic peak, ending up taking place in 1857 more than half of the sugar of Cuba. Toward 1870 was considered one of the most beautiful populations in Cuba, it had a splendid theater, an Artistic Liceo and the famous Caves of Bellamar, as well as some literary gatherings where the most important intellectuals in the time met. In the census carried out in the year 1846 the total of slaves it ascended at 35 188, the black population belonged to 39 998 inhabitants, for only 26 717 white" (6).

This way, in Matanzas, the continuity of the influence of the African art, especially in ways of art religious transculturadas, it sustains a tradition of artistic expressions sustained in the Afro-Cuban thing. These expressions continue modifying the speech of the contemporary art, expressed in the different tendencies or artistic currents of the XX century end. Artists like Ever Fonseca, Jesus Gallardo, Anglé Camacho, Elpidio Guerra Arroyo (Mirito ), Mayra Alpízar, Orlando Abreu, Perla María Pinedo, Manuel Moinelo, Emilio O'Farrill, Juan Carlos Urría Fagundo, painters and sculptors; Héctor Correa, Odalys Marrero, Rogelio Mesa Ledo, artisans; Ramón Pacheco Salazar, photographer; Zenén Calero, designer; they expose in their works that recognition capacity and use of the plastic values of the iconografic system involved in the rich visual universe of the different Afro-Cuban religions.

In Ever Fonseca's work , worked during many years in Matanzas, one of the constant iconográficas of their poetic one is the representation of the güije. The myth of the güije, of indigenous origin, receives the African slave's influence and becomes the black güije and midget appearing in the folklore, the arts and the Cuban literature.

Jesus Gallardo Cacho, designer, sculptor and painter born in Matanzas, would carry out an important area of their artistic work, dispersed in collections matters, under the signs of the African cultures. When in 1978 case the Shop The Face with Jorge Luis Rodríguez and the author, the fundamental line of work is the creation of Afro-Cuban masks, with the use of the techniques of carving, assembling, painting matérica and other mixed techniques. A mask emblemática is the Eleguá carried out in a guano penca (dry leaf of real palm with cauríes) (1978). In the group of their work, the treatment of the African and Afro-Cuban art was approached fundamentally in sculpture works and in goldwork.

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