Lidia Aguilera, Gravitating in three dimensions
By Roxana Consuegra Photos: José (Tito) Meriño
The studio workshop of the renowned Cuban fine artist Lidia Aguilera is located in Calle Monserrate No. 411 between Obrapía and Lamparilla in Old Havana. When entering this gallery space, in existence for over two decades, one catches a glimpse of the gift of creation possessed by the artist.
With marked abstract language, her work demonstrates her dual role as a sculptor and painter. She trained at the Clara Zetkin School of Wood Carving and at the San Alejandro Fine Arts Academy, respectively. Lidia skillfully assembles metals, wood or other materials, while sketching a great variety of original motifs on canvas.
Her work deals with the problem of existence itself. A formal element is recurring in her work despite not being represented mechanically. The ladder, in this case, becomes a symbol of continuity, growth, struggle and overcoming.
Step by step man exceeds himself in his journey. Thus, the life of this wise woman, who already has 50 years of artistic career, has been like the leitmotif of her pieces: a succession of experiences, each one with its lessons and its wisdom.
Fascinated by the here and now, rather than the mediatization that creators submit themselves to, Lidia Aguilera is committed to direct communication with her audience. In this way she greets the interested passerby and the loyal customer, always with a smile on her face. Thanks to the kindness that emanates from her personality and the energy that still lingers after the grey hair and the evolution of the years, she has traveled a considerable part of the world with her art.
“Knowledge of other cultures has undoubtedly influenced my work, each place traveled has brought new forms and nurtured my profession and my life experience,” she said in the interview granted to CubaPlus.
But the far away places have not just left an imprint on the artist, ... she also has left her art in many of the places she has traveled. In Cuba, a considerable number of the provinces have a representation of her artistic work.
Internationally, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, the United States, Russia, Italy, Spain, Hungary and China are some of the countries where her pieces are found in social and private collections, and where her environmental sculptures and murals can be found.
Abstract sculptural relief: this is how she defines her quintessential technique, based on the use of hammered aluminum. On this, she often prints the most unlikely forms: sometimes abstract, at times figurative.
The body is another setting for her creations. Gold work has become another way to sculpt in small format. The sculptural jewels created by the artist are a display of synthesis and very high aesthetic values.
Her knowledge is freely passed on to friends, colleagues and students. To the latter she has dedicated a great part of her life, in over a hundred workshops given in her municipality, Diez de Octubre. The courses have also contributed to the development of the community and the environment in general, and become an impetus to develop the cultural movement in the capital’s neighborhood.
Soon you can enjoy the art by this sculpture, painter and goldsmith in the Gallery Collage Habana belonging to the Cuban Fund of Cultural Property. This March the institution hosts a personal exhibition of the artist in its rooms. We wait for the surprise with bated breath ... let’s see what Lidia Aguilera, always gravitating in all three dimensions, has prepared for us.