Spotlight: Wilfredo Lam @ DesignMiami/

Wilfredo Lam was a Cuban painter, sculptor, print-maker who sought to revive the Afro-Cuban spirit and culture in the 20th century.

He was born and raised in the same tiny, tiny town as me, Sagua La Grande, Cuba. It must go without saying that this is one of the artist closest to my heart.

For this year’s upcoming DesignMiami/ Didier Ltd,  will be showing works by Latin American artists including Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta, Jesus Rafael Soto, and Oswaldo Guayasamin; amongst others. Didier Ltd. will be participating in Design Miami/ for this first time this December. The London-based gallery is owned by Didier and Martine Haspeslagh and specializes in jewelry by leading post-war painters and sculptors.

Now we leave you to admire this unique three-coloured 18ct gold pendant in the form of a horse of the Apocalypse protecting Cuba from American missiles which Lam designed in 1972 for the AUREA exhibition. Priceless!

Happy Birthday Jose Marti

Mis versos favoritos de, Versos Sensillos 1891

Yo soy un hombre sincero
De donde crece la palma,
Y antes de morirme quiero
Echar mis versos del alma.
Yo vengo de todas partes,
Y hacia todas partes voy:
Arte soy entre las artes,
En los montes, monte soy.
Yo sé los nombres extraños
De las yerbas y las flores,
Y de mortales engaños,
Y de sublimes dolores.
Yo he visto en la noche oscura
Llover sobre mi cabeza
Los rayos de lumbre pura
De la divina belleza.
Alas nacer vi en los hombros
De las mujeres hermosas:
Y salir de los escombros,
Volando las mariposas.
He visto vivir a un hombre
Con el puñal al costado,
Sin decir jamás el nombre
De aquella que lo ha matado.
Oigo un suspiro, a través
De las tierras y la mar,
Y no es un suspiro,—es
Que mi hijo va a despertar.
Si dicen que del joyero
Tome la joya mejor,
Tomo a un amigo sincero
Y pongo a un lado el amor.
Yo he visto al águila herida
Volar al azul sereno,
Y morir en su guarida
La vibora del veneno.
Yo he puesto la mano osada,
De horror y júbilo yerta,
Sobre la estrella apagada
Que cayó frente a mi puerta.
Oculto en mi pecho bravo
La pena que me lo hiere:
El hijo de un pueblo esclavo
Vive por él, calla y muere.
Todo es hermoso y constante,
Todo es música y razón,
Y todo, como el diamante,
Antes que luz es carbón.

 

THIS IS CUBA, NOW

As I write these words to accompany the following images, my heart is beating a little faster and my breath is a little heavier. That is because these are not just any images, they are photos of my country. A country I abandoned long ago for the life I have today. Yet these last 17 years have not lessen my love, passion and yearning for a day when I can return without consequence.

These are powerful images, of devotion, love, creativity, natural beauty, decay, the passing of time, optimism, politics and endless more hidden meanings.

When I look at the shores and beaches, the palm trees, the buildings, the smile on a woman’s face dressed in her typical Santeria outfit smoking a cigar, I see a neighbor or a friend, a special place packed with tender memories that are wired to the heart.

All of the pictures on this post came from a blog called mybeautifuladventures.com but the words and the emotion came straight from my heart.

Enjoy.

Alicia Alonso Master of Classical Ballet

>Documental dedicado a una de las mejores bailarinas de la historia del ballet clásico capaz de crear un movimiento artístico y cultural reconocido internacionalmente más allá de su figura.

This Documentary is dedicated to the best classical ballet dancer, Alicia Alonso. Who created a artistic movement in the history of ballet with her dance… and she was of course born in Cuba.

view documentary here: http://www.rtve.es/mediateca/videos/20101007/imprescindibles-alicia-alonso-07-10-10/896715.shtml

The Story of The Cuban Flag

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It was a steamy hot day in New York City and General Narciso López, of Venezuelan origin, had joined the fight for Cuba’s independence. Exhausted from planning all that was entailed in bringing Revolution to Cuba,He was concerned about the pending arrival in Cuba. He felt a flag was necessary to add patriotic fervor to the endeavor. Full of emotion, he went to his friend, a poet and soon-to-be patriot, Miguel Teurbe Tolon, who incorporated Narciso’s ideas and designed the flag which was later sewn by Emilia Teurbe Tolon.

And so it was: Three light blue stripes, later changed to ocean blue, representing Cuba’s three sections at the time, Western, Central and Eastern. The two white stripes representing the purity and justice of the patriotic liberators’ motives. While the lone white star within the equilateral red traingle represents the unity of our people upon the blood spilled by our revolutionary heroes.

When Cuba became independent from Spain on May 20, 1902, Cespedes Flag was officially designated the flag of the city of his birth: Bayamo, Oriente, and the flag which Venezuelan-born, Cuban patriot, Narciso López flew in the city of Cárdenas on May 19, 1850, was officially designated the Cuban national flag. In honor of Cespedes and the bravery of the residents of Bayamo, who during the 10 Year War burned the prosperous city to the ground and moved to the forrest rather than surrender it to the Spaniards, Bayamo was proclaimed a “National Monument” and from then on would have its name proceeded by the initials M.N. for “Monumento Nacional.” Since Cuba gained independence from Spain, the flag of Bayamo is displayed alongside the Cuban national flag at official ceremonies and events.

via: http://www.cubaflags.com

I am very happy to be Cuban and what’s really interesting was learning that the first Cuban flag was designed in NYC, the city fate has brought me to. It’s been now 16 years since I left Cuba, and the fire is burning inside of me stronger than ever for my beautiful country.