The world needs to know about the formidable artistic work of prestigious Cuban painter Áisar Jalil Martínez, native of the central province of Camagüey and who is of Lebanese descent.
“Back in 1968 at the age of 15 I decided to start studying at the Provincial Art School of Camagüey”, said the 61-year-old artist to Cubaplus.” I then attended Havana’s National School of Art and later the Repin Academy of Fine Arts in Leningrad (formerly part of the Soviet Union), where I obtained the title of Master of Fine Arts in 1983”, said Jalil, whose academic training is as sculptor.
“The economic conditions of the country were very difficult during the so-called Special Period in the 1990’s and producing a sculpture was very costly, so I started doing what eventually became my forte which is painting and graphics”.
The Delight of Being a Painter
“As mathematics is basic to a scientist, drawing is to a plastic artist”, says Jalil, who began by coloring the drawings he created as a child and later turned them into paintings which received great acclaim. Regarding his main themes, he pointed out that in his Flora and fauna collection he highlights the painful changes we as human beings go through.
“Although I believe it is a universal phenomenon, in Cuba we are aware of the transformations that the nineties brought about. That is why I urge people to choose progress - we must change and evolve, not regress.
“Through my painting I express my ideas and worries”, affirmed the artist who is also a scholar, and who tells his students to collect all that they see along their path.
Concerning his authenticity, his personal and collective exhibitions have been applauded both in Cuba and in several other countries.
“I get a lot of satisfaction feeling that there are people who are beginning to know you and love you. I value the crowds and their opinions. Abroad, my work is well-received”, says Jalil.
His pieces are exposed at the Repin Academy Museum, the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Ignacio Agramonte Museum, as well as in private art collections from Mexico, France, Spain, Portugal, the United States, England, Sweden, Italy, Canada, Ukraine, Moldavia, Argentina, Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Poland and Mongolia.
Proposals for the future are many, but he is now preparing for the next edition of the Havana Biennial which will take place from May 22 and June 22 at the the San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress where the Estado del tie mpo exhibition will be held.
“This event has achieved such great prestige that when one travels to any part of the world colleagues from other countries express interest in participating”, he reflected.
What do you think of the reestablishment of relations between Cuba and the United States?
This is and will always be positive as as it opens up the possibility of commercializing art without restrictions. It can, however, bring about side effects such as the trivializaiton of art. Some art pieces will sell better than others, but the most important thing must remain that the work be authentic, legitimate and real, made with great love and effort.
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