Antonia Eiriz

Antonia Eiriz Vázquez (1929–1995) was a Cuban painter whose work was exhibited throughout Latin America during her life. She received a National Culture Award in 1981, and in 1983 received the Alejandro Carpenter Medal. In 1989 the Cuban government awarded her the Félix Varela Order; in 1994 she was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. She gave up painting in the 1960s, thereafter devoting her life and talents to Cuban crafts.Wikipedia





 This woman doesn’t paint
so we can say: “What strange things
spout from this artist’s head!”
This woman has enormous eyes.
With those eyes any woman could
disfigure the world if she wanted to.
But those faces that spring as if from under a blow,
those twisted lips
not even mercifully covered by a blot,
those strokes that appear suddenly
like roguish old ladies,
they wouldn’t actually exist
if each one of us didn’t stuff them daily
into Antonia Eiriz’s bag.
At least I have recognized myself
among the heap from which she pulls me out still shaking,
seeing my eyes enter those sockets
she mysteriously  finds;
and, above all, feeling so close
to those demagogues she paints,
who seem about to say so much
and finaly dare say absolutely nothing

From “Fuera del Juego” (1968) by Heberto Padilla
Translated by Orlando Alomá




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