Alicia de la Campa Pak's Female Universe
By: Maria Grant / Photos: Courtesy of the artist
For Cuban artist Alicia de la Campa Pak (Havana, 1966), the women that she depicts “are like my alter ego, forms that inhabit my sleep, my internal world; symbols of life, beauty, knowledge… ” This is the key to understanding the point of this artist's work. She is eminently self-referential and her very personal style reflects “el universo femenino” as she calls it - the female universe, the realm of the feminine. Her drawings are exceptional for their technical excellence as well as the allegorical threads running through her work.
In this exclusive interview with Cubaplus, she talks about her life and work.
How and when did you begin painting? What other areas of the visual arts have you cultivated?
At the age of 12 I started studying at the Escuela Elemental de Artes Plásticas, (Fine Arts School) located in an old mansion in the Vedado district of Havana. There, and later at the San Alejandro Academy, I studied still life and life drawing as basic subjects and went on to tackle free drawing, painting, engraving and sculpture.
Can you talk about the main characteristics of your work?
Generally I put forward an introspective look at the feminine realm, the female universe, through physical metaphors. The different real-life and fantasy elements that you see in my work are symbols that I use to construct concepts beyond the visual pleasure of the drawing; they communicate the interior beauty of things and are doors to the mystical dimension of the human being.
Tell us about the exhibitions that you say have marked significant junctures in your career as a Cuban visual artist.
Each of my exhibitions marks a juncture, because they all define moments of change or development, they're summaries of periods of my work - from my first solo exhibition in 1986 when I was barely 20 years old, at the Wilfredo Lam municipal gallery in Marianao in Havana, to later ones in galleries in Cuba and abroad.
From a creative point of view, what are your immediate and future projects?
Right now I am working on a solo exhibition of my most recent work entitled “Illuminaciones” (Illuminations) that will be shown at the Miami Hispanic Cultural Arts Center. Another Cuban painter, Sinecio Cuétara, will also be showing his work there at the same time.