A retrospective featuring more than 20 works of the artist.
The work of Rafael Zarza (b. Havana, Cuba, 1944), both in engraving and painting, constitute some of the most peculiar, disquieting, and valuable examples of the Cuban visual arts within the last 50 years. At 76 years old, Zarza has achieved a status that is difficult to obtain in any artistic context: his work is practically nondescript, unclassifiable, not only with respect to the most dominant trends that have been occurring within the course of Cuban contemporary art, but also in regard to international aesthetic models. Zarza is known as the painter of ‘taurine’ or bullfighting figures. The bull is the protagonist in the grand majority of his work. Across cultures, the physical attributes of certain animals evolve to become symbolic projections of man’s virtues or vices. In this case, the virility, strength, rage, elegance, indomitability, and the majesty of...the bull form part of the masculine ideal of the historical archetype that is the Spanish caballero (knight, gentleman). And by cultural heritage, these attributes also figure into the conception of masculinity in Cuban culture, however stereotypical they may seem today.
Entrada actualizada el el 17 jun de 2022
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