Behind the vail of a myth. A new book about Belkis Ayón’s artwork
October 22, 2018
Behind the veil of a myth considers the most significant moments of the creative process of Cuban printmaker Belkis Ayón (Havana, 1967- 1999) following a virtual tour of the exhibit Nkame. A Retrospective of the Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayón, showed in Cuba for the first time in September 2009 and traveling several museums in the United States since 2016. Based on the study of Belkis Ayón’s work by curator Cristina Vives, as well as on parts of an interview with the artist, and extensively illustrated with the 48 pieces that make up the exhibition among others, Behind the veil of a myth offers a description of Belkis’s creative life and the main motivations that led her to an investigation that totally absorbed her short but intense artistic life: The Abakuá religion and secret society. Her work evolved from a stage of “representation” of the myth during her years as an art student, to a later mature artistic moment in which the myth served as a vehicle for the post-modern travesty which characterized young Cuban artists in the 1990’s, after the collapse of European socialism. Belkis’s monumental collographs were pioneer in the country and worldwide, and provided the Abakuá legend with an overpowering iconography it did not have previously. “Behind the veil of a myth” is an approach that interconnects the artist to the Cuban and international context, and to the unmistakable signals of the present and the universality that her work communicates from its deep social and liberating vocation.
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