Cuba is Close: pieces of art from Island of Freedom first exhibited in Izhevsk

Artist Omar Godinez’s exhibition has opened in the Udmurt Republican Museum of Fine Arts

Cuba is Close: pieces of art from Island of Freedom first exhibited in Izhevsk Photo: Mikhail Krasilnikov

Cuban artist Omar Godinez's exhibition Cuba is Close has opened in Izhevsk. Residents and guests of the capital of Udmurtia can acquaint with art of ''geographically so remote but spiritually close'' country first-hand for the first time. Cuba's ambassador to Russia came to the opening of the exhibition dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. Realnoe Vremya tells the details.

''One of the geographically remotest but spiritually closest countries to us''

The opening of Omar Godinez's exhibition Cuba is Close in the Udmurt Republican Museum of Fine Arts caused great interest among contemporary painting fans. Before the official ceremony, so many people gathered in halls that some desired to wait for the moment when the buzz calmed down and they could calmly see the pieces of art without squeezing up against the walls.

Paintings from the Island of Freedom are exhibited in Udmurtia for the first time. Though, as the author himself admits, he has already had exhibitions in several cities of Russia, apart from Moscow and Petersburg. He is a graduate of Moscow State Surikov Art Institute and speaks Russian quite well. Over 40 paintings are exhibited in total as well as graphic design in monotyping. The message of Cuba is Close exhibition's name is understandable that was clearly interpreted during the solemn opening and in talks when looking the exposition over.

Over 40 paintings are exhibited in total as well as graphic design in monotyping

''Of course, our generation knew that Cuba is one of the geographically remotest but spiritually closest countries to us. It's the closest people in some spiritual, moral accents,'' noted Minister of Culture of Udmurtia Vladimir Solovyov.

Ancient pre-Columbus myths about contact with Russian culture

Ambassador of Cuba to Russia Gerardo Peñalver Portal participated in the opening of the exhibition who also told a lot about friendship but stressed peculiarities of Cuban culture of painting in his speech.

''Visual arts is a reflection of a variety of aesthetic concepts that were brought to the island mainly by Spanish colonisers and black slaves of African origin. Over time, during the formation of Cuban identity under the influence of culture of other European, Latin American countries and the USA, there were created different forms of painting. Expressed influence of Russian and Soviet artists was also felt in Cuban visual arts,'' Portal noted.

According to him, in his works, Omar Godinez shows the connection between a person and the world surrounding him, a free interpretation of the existing reality by a persona, the mixture of popular traditions with different forms of art. Bright paints reflect the Cuban's many facets.

Ambassador of Cuba to Russia Gerardo Peñalver Portal participated in the opening of the exhibition. Photo: facebook.com

Researchers tell about Godinez as an artist who analyses ancient pre-Columbus and Afro-Cuban myths in contact with Russian culture and thinks about mysteries of existence by using the contemporary plastic language. In a talk with journalists, he admitted Mark Shagal especially influenced his art among Russian artists.

''There is a lot of spontaneity in both graphic design and paintings. Most of Godinez's graphic design works are decorative abstractions where the plot is dissolved in a complex alloy of lines, dots and colours. The artist draws attention to accidental effects arising thanks to spontaneity in the motion of paints. As a result, there is an image of the miraculous birth of beauty and harmony from chaos,'' reads the annotation to the exhibition.

By 60th anniversary

The exhibition is dedicated to the 60 th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution during which a movement chaired by Fidel Castro took over Fulgencio Batista's dictatorship in January 1959 and substituted it for a socialistic republic. Moreover, the 100th anniversary of Mikhail Kalashnikov's birthday, which is also celebrated this year, was remembered at the opening. Kalashnikov lived and worked in Izhevsk for long, his famous guns were manufactured right here. Cuba, in turn, has always been a strategic partner of the USSR and Russia, regularly got armament.

In a talk with journalists, Godinez admitted Mark Shagal especially influenced his art among Russian artists

When talking with journalists, the ambassador of Cuba noted that the cooperation, first of all, economic, between the countries was developing at the moment, but ''the cultural component is especially important here.'' He expressed hope that works of Udmurt artists would also be exhibited in the Embassy of Cuba to Russia or even on the Island of Freedom in the future.

By Mikhail Krasilnikov. Author’s photos
Udmurtia

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