Fiercely emotional

Fiercely emotional
Fecha de publicación: 
3 July 2023
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Many believed he was a cursed painter. The truth is that Umberto Peña leaves no one indifferent. In a note released by the National Museum of Fine Arts on its social networks, after the recent death of the artist, it is stated that his art works, with an apparently eschatological poetics, managed to portray the complexity of a troubled era. His works, the note highlights, transcend the erotic and are a visceral approach to his reality.

And indeed, viscera, muscles, cartilage, organs...filled an art creation that sometimes referred to the aesthetics of pop, and particularly to comics, with fiercely expressionist implications.

Many of his paintings are screams on the wall.

In short, they were (are) allegations about the right to singularity, defending a powerful and litigious identity.

In more recent art works, that human anatomy gives way to more abstract forms. But there is always a powerful projection, a predilection for bright tones, a certain graphic inspiration. And a dreamlike density that can be disturbing.

Victim of wrong views of our cultural policy, Peña's work was marginalized and unfairly biased in the so-called Gray Quinquennium.

But his undeniable values were vindicated. The artist also developed an intense career as a designer and his bond with Casa de las Américas and its magazine were notable, uninterrupted despite the distance.

At the age of 85, Umberto Peña died in the city of Salamanca, where he had lived for several years. The National Museum of Fine Arts exhibits a set of his art works in its permanent exhibition.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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