Angel M. Ramírez




Context and Concepts

Painting as Narrative

Cubanow.– Angel Ramirez (Havana, 1954) is one of Cuba’s most acknowledged initiators of the contemporary engraving trends and a renovator of the pictorial art.

His successful presentation in Cuban Fine Arts is mostly due to his proven skills and imagination as an engraver. He is currently known as the artist who moves between intelligent appropriation of medieval iconography and solutions that include object art, installations and design.

For him, all supports are possible for graphic arts as well as for painting, proving that the limits between manifestations today are anachronic and artificial.

In Angel’s images, love and humor, the weight of tradition and the adventure of post-modernity have always being present. His first explorations in graphic arts were not limited to style, texture and composition. He turned icons into a resource of real expression in an iconoclastic manner.

At the same time, he wanted to subvert what had been accepted as a habitual presence in national graphic arts and give way to the printed matter of free execution that coincided with the development of the conceptual trends of our art.

In a certain way, his work can be regarded as indebted to Western historical religious visions, when as a matter of fact that subject is no more than the representational system that allows him to project with sagacity and fine irony his social and aesthetic thinking.

The biblical topics, the Roman and Byzantine symbols, the apparent sobriety of his polychromes, combined with the vital position and grace that integrate references to daily and popular life until they coincide with an illustrated perception of the so-called local joking (choteo criollo).

There, in what he does, is the history lived by everyone, the conflict between right and wrong, the struggle between dreams and power, the necessary allegories of freedom and justice.

When you visit the newly inaugurated space (in that sort of artistic, crowded, noisy place the Office of the City’s Historian adapted from a former ancient convent on the intersection of Obispo and Oficios Streets), you notice how Angel Ramirez’s already mature creative codes have condensed and outlined with greater pictorial strength.

In this gallery-workshop, there are images that were brought to light in his engravings and which now constitute a sort of fresh transportable passage that may have several meanings in the spaces where they are permanently placed.

It is about icons of our time appropriate for the interior of the “cathedrals” of man’s poetic subjectivity.

Arelys Hernandez

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