Edgar Brielo: photography as a reason for life
By Lázaro Gerardo, Valdivia Herrero
The name of Edgar Brielo Maranillo Sierra, or simply Brielo, the artistic name he has earned in the world of contemporary visual arts, is one of the great realities of photography on the Antillean Island.
He is an exponent of a unique expressive language and deep admirer of the most traditional constructive practices of eastern Cuba. Brielo has spent almost a decade sharing his passion for contrasts of light and shade with archeology, a scientific discipline which has allowed the artist to more rigorously approach the vernacular architectural heritage scattered in rural areas, which inspires this lively creator with its mixture, “exoticism” and great symbolism for the future.
Born in 1992 in the city of Santiago de Cuba, Brielo works as a photographer and archeology specialist at the Center for the Interpretation and Dissemination of Coffee Cultural Heritage (Casa Dranguet). The center belongs to the city’s Conservation Office, a prestigious body managing and preserving the heritage of this former colonial town, which this popular artist joined after his 2011 graduation as an archeology technician at the Ugo Luisi Workshop School, attached to the aforementioned institution.
With seven personal exhibitions to his name and with significant involvement in over 40 collective exhibitions (national and international), Brielo has been awarded and recognized in diverse events and photography contests, endorsements which have accredited his inclusion in important institutions. These include the Asociación Hermanos Saíz (AHS), which he joined in 2014, as well as the Gonzalo de Cárdenas Chair of Vernacular Architecture, attached to the Office of the Historian of Havana, an body that accepted him as an associate in 2015 and recognized him three years later as an honorary member.
He has entered various photography contests sponsored by the previously-mentioned Chair and the Spanish Diego de Sagredo Foundation, whose awards are presented annually at the Vernacular Architecture Technical Conference held in Havana’s Historic Center.
At the age of twenty-nine, and in full artistic flow, Brielo has not stopped creating and dreaming of new formulas and mechanisms for people to access his work with a critical spirit and referential perception, because his work has been and always will be sincere, free of plethora and garlands, where simplicity and truthfulness are key in the always difficult mission of bearing witness to the selves and others that proliferate around us.