Book: NKAME. Belkis Ayón

July 20, 2009

The National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Council  of Plastic Arts, José A. Figueroa and the Belkis Ayón Estate launched at the Theater of the MNBA, CUBAN ART Building, the following books: NKAME. Belkis Ayónand José A. Figueroa. Un Autorretrato Cubano (A Cuban Self-Portrait) with the participation of Orlando Hernández

NKAME. Belkis Ayón: This book documents with great attention to detail, the life and work of Cuban artist Belkis Ayón

DIRECTOR OF THE PROJECT: Dra.Katia Ayón
EDITORIAL CONCEPT: Cristina Vives
AUTHORS: José Veigas, Cristina Vives, David Mateo, Lazara Menéndez
DESIGN: Laura Llópiz

296 PAGES | 400 IMAGES | BILINGUAL EDITION SPANISH/ENGLISH
TURNER EDITORES MADRID

WITH THE PATRONAGE OF:
Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zürich, Switzerland | The Von Christierson Collection, London, England | Afrika Museum, Berg in Dal, Holland | Foundation Cisneros-Fontanalls, Miami, USA | Alex and Carole Rosenberg, New York, USA | Foundation Brownstone, Paris, France | Foundation Caguayo, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

Belkis Ayón (1967-1999) left after her death a group of indispensable works for the contemporary printmaking.
The Abakuá religion and Secret Society (original of the African Calabar, and established in Cuba since the 19th century) served the “quotation”  and “reference” for the artist  to build a universal  discourse against the marginal,  frustration,  fear,  censorship and  impotence and in favor of the search for freedom.
This society, created by men and for men, stigmatizes and segregates woman and, in turn it maintains a strict discipline and an unassailable ethics and mystery. Belkis penetrated the rite as much as she was allowed to, and  she studied all the sources of information within her reach. As a result, she gave life to a startling iconography and interpreted the religious myth from her position as a black and Latino woman, as an artist, towards the close of the 20th century. Nkame, synonym of praise and greeting in the Abakuá language, is a tribute to an artist who, with her death, left a message of life for the future.

José A. Figueroa. Un Autorretrato Cubano (A Cuban Self-Portrait): This book recounts more than four decades of the life of a country through the photographic work of José A. Figueroa.

RESEARCH AND EDITION: Cristina Vives
ESSAYS BY: Cristina Vives, Dannys Montes de Oca
DESIGN: Pepe Menéndez

384 PAGES | 384 IMAGES | BILINGUAL EDITION SPANISH/ENGLISH
TURNER EDITORES MADRID

WITH THE PATRONAGE OF:

The Busson Foundation Trust

José A, Figueroa (Havana, 1946), started his professional life as a photographer on September 1964, when he began working at  Studios Korda in Havana.
Because of his age, social background and formation, he belonged to a «transition» generation who, at the beginning of the Cuban Revolution of 1959, was too young to play an instrumental role, but  sufficiently mature to become conscious and analytic witnesses. His life and work are placed between «the inside» and «the outside» of that story. Thus, he has been able to document, evaluate and symbolize many facets of both the public and the private life of the nation – two sides of the same coin–, for many years; most importantly, it is work done in Cuba and from a Cuban perspective. These characteristics and circumstances are, in fact, very infrequent among his contemporaries or predecessors, when analyzed individually.  A Cuban self-portrait is approximately part of that story, through the work of one of the indispensable names in the history of Cuban photography.

Promotional sales price to the public during the launching: 250 Cuban pesos. Courtesy of the Belkis Ayón Estate; José A. Figueroa and the sponsors



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