Santos Toledo: The Power of Graphic

By Pedro Quiroga Jiménez / Photos by Jorge Pérez and the Artist's Archives, on: Visual Arts
Santos Toledo: The Power of Graphic

No one is indifferent to Santos Toledo's work. The first contact inevitably creates an irresistible complicity with his style, centered in typography. His most recent personal exhibit: Design, my language at the Carmen Montilla Gallery in Old Havana - displaying his forty years of artistic career - is living proof of it.

Santos Toledo: The Power of Graphic

Tracing the origins of this artist leads to the Cuban Book Institute where he began as a designer under the wings of two Cuban master painters: Esteban Ayala and Raúl Martínez.

From that time his graphic designs have followed these models to express his fertile, diverse, innovative and poetic inner world, especially If we consider the deep harmony shown by the soft and sinuous lines in many of his posters.

Toledo plays with color and composition, giving each image a personal touch that distinguishes it and sends it to stellar realms. His method is not preconceived as his creations are as free as the new ideas that constantly flow from his mind.

Alien to any kind of stereotype and always searching for intelligent solutions for his works, Toledo bets on chromatic subtlety and the dimensions of character but, above all, on the intensity of light.

Santos Toledo: The Power of Graphic

Toledo avoids the articulated word. This circumspection is far from the impressive dynamism shown in his designs. His discretion in speech is a constant that is always associated with him.

Santos Toledo Argudín, Havana (1950). Designer and painter. He has created more than 500 posters dedicated to such figures as Spanish dancer Antonio Gades and singers Joan Manuel Serrat (Spain) and Alberto Cortés (Argentina), as well as comedians Les Luthiers, Buena Vista Social Club diva Omara Portuondo, composer Leo Brower, pianist Frank Fernández and Rosita Fornés. He worked with devotion on the three icons of Cuban culture: singers Rita Montaner, Ignacio Villa (aka Bola de Nieve) and Benny Moré. He created the environmental design of such restaurants as Mama Rumba and Fiesta Brava (Malaga, Spain), Helka Barpresso (Hungary) and Giraldilla (Mexico). He has also worked in the ambience of the Cuban Jazz Café, Kasalta, Café TV and El Pedregal and Amelia restaurants.

Toledo has held several personal and collective exhibitions in Cuba and abroad. He also worked on the campaign of such international festivals as Cuban Jazz, Guitar, Benny Moré, Varadero and Cubadisco.



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