Wilfredo Lam In Memory 

Visual arts venerate one of its most outstanding artists in December

By: Ana Margarita Sánchez Soler, asanchez@enet.cu

In December, visual arts venerate one of its outstanding artists, Wilfredo Lam. This Friday marks his birth anniversary, the day in which a man with a mixture of races emerged since his father was Chinese and his mother, Creole. This was a starting point to reflect in the canvas this vast universe of combinations.

His eyes were able to assimilate the imaginary forms itself and created figures able to enchant the viewer. Through cubism with touches of surrealism, he invites us to formulate our own concepts. It is true that every painter could leave a space for the audience free interpreting, but Lam was a kind of magician. His strokes invite you to get lost in a chain of curved lines, pointed bodies and some Eleggua. 

We must not leave aside the mysticism, the Afro-Cuban religion from which the vast pictorial work of the Cuban artist is indebted. The traditions that sustain his cuban-ness, dedicated to ritual, were expressed by subtlety and effectiveness. Wifredo is remembered today for introducing into our paintings the traits of black culture from a traditional perspective, but extended to modernity.

Wifredo Lam could not have been born elsewhere, but in the Island that was especting him to be portrayed. Before his existence, the Island was already waiting for his talent that immortalized it with oil paint. 

The painter was not empirical: he was able to study at San Alejandro Professional School of Painting and Sculpture. In Spain, he also managed to improve himself towards a more academic art through portraits and landscapes. However, Cuba would be an inspiring source impossible to ignore aesthetically and thematically. 

He spent his last days in Paris, where he said the final words. There he threw the farewell glances to capture the tones of life that ends. Surely he was missing his Caribbean Island. He had it later: he was buried in his native country. Lam lives in the work he produced, Wifredo remains in memory. Today, our reality is already part of his biography. 

 Translated by ESTI







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