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Words from art for the Afro-Cuban deities

Published: 2014.12.16 - 14:38:50   /  /  Cubarte

Words from art for the Afro-Cuban deities From his Palabras (Words), Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal sets an infinite and multiple dialogue with the deities of the yoruba pantheon. Stories, rituals, roads, decisions, beginnings and ends intermingle in each of the pieces of this exhibition shown at Habana art gallery until January 9, 2015.

“When I decided to name this exhibition Palabras, I thought on the importance drawing has had and still has in my work. For me, drawing is a way of writing, with an iconography that acted and expressed the qualities of the poetic circumstances. This was the reason why I should conceive the images found in the design of each work of this project, as if these were the words evoking the memory of an inner landscape, born from the impulse of primary context, a reflect of an effective force of a hidden, legitimate voice, which preserves the rhythm of an own breathing”, the artist said.

These pieces give continuity to a thematic line seen in Rodríguez Olazábal’s work: the Ifá Orisha religion—popularly known as santería—accompanied by the drawing technique as a main tool although color is usually evident as an aesthetic complement, with the presence of objects alluding to its use and appropriation in religious rituals.

According to curator Gretchen Lima, each of the works has an own message, but they are also conceived to talk with others. They are unique, having an extraordinary richness as “they handle and contain all the codes of contemporary art, but, at the same time, they are an offering to our ancestors, and might be analyzed from the ethnological, religious and semantic viewpoint. They have to do with men�s roads and choices in life, with turning the back to the evil and search for good”.

Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal began his career in 1983 with an art exhibit in Galeano art gallery. Two years later, he exhibited his works at Luz and Oficios Visual Arts Provincial Center and, since then, his work has been shown in personal and collective exhibitions, both in Cuba and abroad, in countries like Italy, Belgium, Spain, United States, Mexico, Colombia, Haiti and the African continent.

Translated: Roxana Marquez Herrera (Cubarte)

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