Exposition Art Blog: Manuel Mendive

Manuel Mendive

Manuel Mendive (born 1944) is one of the leading Afro-Cuban artists to emerge from the revolutionary period, and is considered by many to be the most important Cuban artist living today.

Mendive's work incorporates several art mediums and genres. His art consists of drawing, painting, body painting, wood carving, sculpture, and performance that integrates loosely choreographed dance with rhythmic music. At times, the availability of art materials was rather scarce due to the harsh economic climate of the island. As a result, he relied on his creativity and resourcefulness to obtain various mediums, commonly found in nature. Much of his work consists of paint and wood, which he combines with other interesting elements, such as, human hair, sand, feathers, and glass that convey a primitive quality. He not only paints with oils and pastels on canvases, but he paints on masks and posters. Mendive is also famous for his representation of saints and Lukumi gods through his use of carved, burned, and painted wood that he made during the 1960s.
Mendive's art is strongly influenced by the Santería religion. In fact, Santería permeates every form of his art from body painting to events performed in public spaces.Wikipedia

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