Acrylic, charcoal, gesso, and crushed marble, or wood fibers, on 140lb. Arches Aquarelle paper, with deckled edges. 41” x 27”, all of these works on paper were done between 2003 and 2009.
Several articles have been written by renowned art critics on this artist. Please inquire.
This is a wonderful example of Enmanuel's increasing command of the paper medium. His texture, composition, symbology, and technical mastery continue to improve. This is his more recent work, and though his imagery leans toward the abstract, he has hinted that these paintings are representative of feminine, divine beings of a benevolent, and supportive nature. There is great power in these paintings, and the imagery seems to be blended with the abstract, tropical landscape quality he has become known for. Though there are hints of where Enmanuel's points of inspiration come from, the iconography he has developed is entirely his own. You may consult his bio for more details. There are several more paintings from this series available. Please inquire.
Enmanuel's work was prominently featured in the 4th season of the Fox Television's show "Prison Break". It was used to decorate the loft space in the show, and his work can be seen in a number of episodes.
The origins of his iconography are in the early work of Wifredo Lam. One can see elements that are a reminder of this great artist's work. Though Enmanuel has used these elements as a point of inspiration, he has succeeded in making the work entirely his own. He has focused on Lam's early jungle work as a jumping off point, to create a body of symbols, and a language that depicts a reverence for Mother Nature, and his work has a power and intensity that is rarely found in contemporary art. We at MLA search for contemporary artists that have both conceptual genius, and technical mastery. A combination of qualities rarely found today, but present in abundance in the work of this brilliant artist. Enmanuel was selected to create two huge murals in Cuba. One is a 40 ft. mural at the Railway Station in Santiago, and the other is a 30 ft. mural in the lobby of the Melia Cohiba, which is the top hotel in Eastern Cuba. These are both extremely prestigious projects, and have placed this great artist in an important historical context.
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MLA Gallery has many other paintings by Enmanuel, as well as a large selection of paintings, graphics, sculptures, and drawings by established Latin artists, and Latin Masters. Please inquire for many others.
Some biographical info on Enmanuel is as follows:
RAUL ENMANUEL POZO - BIOGRAPHY
Born in San Luis, Santiago, Cuba, 1958
1980-1985 Higher Institute of Art “CUBANACAN”, Havana, Cuba
1976-1980 National School of Art “CUBANACAN”, Havana, Cuba
1973- 1976 School for Plastic Arts Jose Joaquin Tejada, Santiago de Cuba
2004 – La locomotora de mi papa, Canvas Gallery, San Juan, Puerto Rico
2002 – Buscando Caminos, Galeria Juan Marinillo, Institute for the Friendship
with People, Havana, Cuba
2000 – Mi Tiempo Vegetal, Casa de Teatro, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
1999 – Mi Tiempo Vegetal, Casa de Arte, Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican
1999 – Acrilicos sobre Telas, Galeria Oriente, Santiago, Cuba
1994 – Galeria Coral, Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia
1993 – Tropico, Center of Applied Studies, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
1991 – Amuletos Recuerdo de mis abuelos, Galeria Oriente, Santiago, Cuba
1989 - Dibujos sobre Cartulinas, Galeria Cine Cuba, Santiago, Cuba
1988 – Dibujos sobre Cartulinas, Festival of Cuban Culture, Burdeo, France
1987 – 2nd annual Festival of Cuban Culture, Havana, Cuba
1987 – Apuntes para un Proyecto, Galeria de Arte Universal, Manzanillo, Cuba
1986 – De lo Nuestro La Vegetacion, Galeria de Arte Universal, Santiago, Cuba
1985 – Muntu, Galeria Galeano, Havana, Cuba
Participated in over 50 group shows in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Colombia,
Portugal, France, and the United States.
2008 – The Americas Collection – Coral Gables, Florida
2008 – Featured artist - Spring Brewery Artwalk, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2008 – Spring Brewery Artwalk, LS Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA
2007 – Fall Brewery Artwalk, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2007 – Outstanding new contemporary artists, LS Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA
2007 – Elements of Abstraction, Gallery on State, Santa Barbara, CA
2006 – Brewery Artwalk, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2005 – Crosscurrents, Soho Gallery, Studio City, CA
2005 – Contemporary Visions, Audis Husar Fine Art, Beverly Hills, CA
2005 – Brewery Artwalk, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2004 – Tropical Profundo, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2004 – Brewery Artwalk, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2003 - Brewery Artwalk, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2003 - Cuban Artists, Gallery Nader, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
2002 – Brewery Artwalk, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2002 – Cuban Painters, Naipe Museum, Havana, Cuba
2001 – Cuban Artists, Gallery Nader, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
2000 – Four Abstract Painters, Galeria San Ignacio, Havana, Cuba
2000 - Participant in the 7th Havana Biennial
1999 - End of the Century Hall, Emilio Bacardi Museum, Santiago, Cuba
1999 - Serigraphy Workshop, Taller Rene Portocarrero, Havana, Cuba
1999 - Cuban Painters, Museum of the Americas, San Juan, Puerto Rico
1998 - Galeria de Arte Universal, Santiago, Cuba
1998 - Galeria Oriente, Santiago, Cuba
1997 - Salon de 30 de Noviembre, Santiago, Cuba
1996 - The Gallery of the Hotel Melia Cohiba, Santiago, Cuba
1995 - House of Culture Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal
1994 - Art Center Gallery, Nelva, Colombia
1994 – Five Cuban Painters, Viva del Arte Galeria, Bogota, Colombia
1993 - Four Cuban Painters, Art Gallery of the Dominican Institute of Applied
Studies ( IDEA), Santo Domingo, D.R.
1990 – Contemporary Painting, Center for Dominican Architecture, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
1988 – Cuban Painters, Centro de Arte 501, San Francisco
1988 - Cultural Assets Hall Fund, Santiago, Cuba
1987 - Salon 30 de Noviembre, Santiago, Cuba
1987 - Galeria de Arte Universal, Santiago, Cuba
1986 - Seven Cuban Painters, Gallery of the House of Culture, Havana, Cuba
1986 - Participant in the 2nd Havana Biennial
1985 - Students Hall of the Hermanos Sainz Brigade, Galerie Oriente, Santiago,
1984 – Students Hall, Higher Institute of Art, Cubanacan, Havana, Cuba
1984 - Participant in the 1st Havana Biennial – A Tribute to the Triumph of the
Cuban Revolution, Lobby of the Carl Marx Theatre, Havana, Cuba
Restaurant of Melia Cohiba Hotel, Santiago, Cuba
Railway Terminal, Santiago, Cuba
Executive Airport, Santiago, Cuba
1999 - National Prize of Serigraphy, Workshop “Rene Portocarrero”
1998 - Cuban Cultural Assets Fund, 1st prize for painting
1998 - Salon Fin de Siglo, National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC)
1997 - Honorable mention – Emilio Bacardi Museum, Santiago, Cuba
1997 - First Prize, Acquisition for Permanent Collection, Emilio Bacardi Museum,
1989 - National Award for the Painting on Canvas, TELARTE Vll, Cultural assets
of Cuba Fund
1987 - Honorable mention, Painting, City Hall, Santiago, Cuba
1986 – 1st Prize for the Carnival Poster, San Luis, Santiago, Cuba
1985 - Honorable mention, Students Hall of the Hermanos Sainz Brigade,
Galeria Oriente, Santiago, Cuba
1984 – 1st Prize for the Carnival Poster, San Luis, Santiago, Cuba
1998 - Shield of Villa de San Luis de las Enramadas, Santiago, Cuba
1997 – Official Key of the Cultural Assets of Cuba Fund, Santiago, Cuba
Member of UNEAC (National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists)
Member of the International Association of Plastic Artists
His works can be found in many permanent and private collections.
Emilio Bacardi Museum, Santiago, Cuba
Museo Polivalente, Santiago, Cuba
Center of Art Ceballo Estrella, Santiago, Cuba
MLA Gallery Collection, Los Angeles, CA
Banco de Reservas, Santo Domingo, D.R.
In addition to many private collections throughout Cuba, the Dominican Republic,
Colombia, Mexico, Jamaica Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, and the
Excerpts from an essay written by the renowned Latin American art critic Carlos Luis, are as follows:
Despite its late entrance in the realm of Cuban painting, Cubism was applied with evident originality by a number of the main representatives of the first generation of its vanguard. Among them, Amelia Peláez (1) used a structural system drawn for the cubist aesthetics. By applying cubist principles to her personal view of reality, Amelia Peláez distanced herself from analytical cubism incorporating, at the same time, the more sensual shapes of George Braque’s paintings of the 30’s. In that sense, this artist could merge a series of striking images into a context closer to a nationalistic pictorial language much in vogue in Cuba during her time.
It is not by chance that I make a reference of Amelia Peláez as a component of Raúl Enmanuel Pozo’s work. The same should be applied also to Wifredo Lam (2) with whom this painter maintains close affinities. In spite the fact that Pozo’s process of maturity had manage to elaborate a language of his own, his work obeys a tradition that cannot be discarded. In that sense his paintings represent icons that renders homage (consciously or unconscious- ly) to a past that remains in many ways alive in Cuban art. Raul Enmanuel Pozo’s icons originate as images that arise from a past that is being brought to a modern scenario. I refer to a cultural history that saw its first lights in Cuba during the nineteenth century until the present time, passing through the great moment of the vanguard during the first decades of the twentieth century. Raúl Enmanuel Pozo is the actor of an intense artistic process that has witnessed numerous ramifications inside and outside Cuba, since the advent of the revolution in 1959.
Let’s enter then, into the world of this painter taking into consideration two concurring points of his work: form and color. Form in the first place gives us the opportunity to recognize different aspects of his pictorial imagination. One of these forms suggests the structures of Cubism, reminding us of ancient dolmens whose volumes weigh as sculptures inside his paintings. There is a tendency in some of his paintings to create sculptural elements such as in “Silla de Otra Forma” (2004) or in “El Reposo” (2004). Both of these paintings executed in mixed media, offer us the opportunity to disco- ver his concern with an expression that reaches its peak in the art of Wifredo Lam. In this sense, his debt with the richness of Lam’s world is unquestiona- ble. Every artist is always in the process of assimilation of other legacies, and Raúl Enmanuel Pozo is not the exception to the rule. The question resides though, in how and also through what means an artist incorporates the discoveries of the other, transfiguring it in one of his or her own. In Pozo’s case I believe that his strategies of assimilation are the result of an acculturation of the different elements that eventually he will place at the disposal of his work.
If the dolmens are an essential part of his paintings, other forms tend to be converted in totems, as the artist identifies them in paintings such as “To- tem Simbólico”. The totem is one of the most rich and complex manifesta- tions of the so called primitive cultures. The surrealists and along with them Wifredo Lam, felt attracted by the presence of these objects with their carved images representing the history of their clans. On the other hand, from Sigmund Freud to Claude Levi-Strauss, the totem has been the subject of studies of different nature that eventually helped to enrich the poetical arsenal of numerous artists. Whether or not Raúl Enmanuel Pozo has read these authors, is beside the point, since their findings are “in the air” ready to be aspired by any sensitive spirit. On the other hand, it is quite possible that he could be familiar with the writings of the great Cuban ethnologist Fernando Ortiz, who wrote an important monograph on Wifredo Lam.
Another important element in the art of this painter is the use he makes of the mask. Masks are an essential component of modern art. As is well known, the cubists adopted it in opposition to the classical models of Grece and Rome. The surrealists also adopted the masks but with the purpose of discovering in them a magical/poetical force. The presence of the masks in some of the avant garde painters in Cuba such as René Portocarrero (3) or Wifredo Lam, was more inclined towards the surrealist quest. Raúl Enma- nuel Pozo instead, attempts to realize a synthesis between both tendencies.
In paintings like “Son Varias Señales” (2004), “La Familia del Caballo” (2003) or his series “Los Detalles”, we can distinguish both aspects: the cubist structure plus the surrealist poetry acting like a visual palimpsest within the composition. By achieving this, he allows suggestion to prevail over evidence freeing the imagination of the spectator to do the rest.
I have pointed out three main aspects of Raúl del Pozo paintings related to form. However these forms are created within a rich gamut of colors. It is not my intention to follow the well known stereotypes pertaining to “tropical” color etc. Cuban painting had witness masters such as Fidelio Ponce (4) or Rafael Blanco (5) that refused to fall into that category while others like Rene Portocarrero or Amelia Peláez made a vast use of all the possibilities offered by color. The expressiveness of Pozo’s color is an indication that he followed the steps of those masters. The way, though, of how he crystallized them is entirely his personal doing as well as his treatment of textures. What is important in my opinion is that his “ars combinatoria’ with color, succeeds in creating a number of chromatic variations that place him as a colorist to be reckoned with. In that sense his entire opus adds to the already intense developing of Cuban painting, a new and original component.
And this is from an essay written by the famed poet, essayist, and art critic, Sherezada Vicioso "Chiqui".
RAUL ENMANUEL POZO:
A WELL IN WHICH THE CARIBBEAN IS FOUND
By Sherezada Vicioso "Chiqui" *
A bird unfolds its wings in the heart of a closed fist. A barely suggested head in the middle of a party of dry twigs where the lilac announces itself and is diluted in browns and yellows, transforming themselves. The circle deepens the mystery, where is this image swirling to?
Bird in blue. again the stroke of a wing, also the skeleton of a leaf. The machinery of a sugar workers village barely suggested by the fragment of a wheel. Nerve, pistil, metal epithelium, breast in flight, palm leaf. Vegetable life, folioles, gramineous, light hinges, yoke, bone knives, the sea in which a water serpent, circular dolphin, dances. Sugar cane arms, fangs, a barely insinuated woman's torso, head in which the sugar' workers village is sketched. Cry of cane, a leaf that is a rail, bird of rails, pink rose in darkness. an angel made of rails and leaves of cane, screws, marine figures which arise from the water. X -ray of movement, a flute arm, wave movement. spiral of rails, half moon.....
Picturesque and poetic synthesis of the Caribbean, attained by an abstract painter with the solid training of Raul Enmanuel Pozo. Santiaguero, native of San Luis, Santiago de Cuba, today among us; alumnus of the Instituto Superior de Arte and the National School of Plastic Arts. A painter with wide teaching experience, gifted with a great command of drawing, evident in the fine firmness of a stroke. Master of color, which degrades in all the backgrounds to tell the story that obsesses him.The history of his native Santiago de Cuba, of canefield, sugar worker villages, railroads, the sea, the yoke,the black women and men, the cane cutters, the Orishas who protect them and watch over them. History which, like lhe Caribbean it represents pictorially, is made up of fragments. Suggesting a synthesis of color, strokes, the piece of leaf with a petiole of rails, a circle that is the eye and head of a screw, the green skeleton which is also the canefield's face, the woods. Woman's torso, blue barge on a circular horizon, locomotive that approaches and threatens to tunnel into the eye.
A painter who has received many prizes and mentions in his native Cuba: Rene Portocarrero National Silkscreening Award; UNEAC Painting Prize; TELARTE National Canvas Painting Design Award, from the National Fund of Cultural Assets of Cuba; Poster Prize of the Carnival of San Luis, Santiago de Cuba. among many other distinctions. The work of Raul Emmanuel Pozo has also won vast international recognition, in our country, the Dominican Republic, where it makes up part of such prestigious collections as the Banco de Reservas, the Art Center in Santiago de los Caballeros, the Lic. Frank Marino Hernandez and the renowned Architect Eduardo Selman, and in the United States. where it has also formed part of the permanent collection of the MLA Gallery of Los Angeles.
Large format painting, which reflects Pozo's experience with mural art, because he has also done important murals in his native country, the paintings of Raul Enmannel sometimes evoke a color and fragmentation of the Caribbean symbology of Wifredo Lam; and the rescue of the elements of the sugar village mills, the machinery, the x-ray of the world of factories, trains and the universe of the operators, of that other great master of Latin American painting, the Chilean Matta.
Representation of the magical Caribbean realism revealed to the world by the words of Garcia Marquez, around the world of Pozo, rotate the verses of "Hay un Pais en el Mundo (There's a Country in the ·World)" by Don Pedro Mir, another universal Caribbean who, like Pozo is the synthesis of the Caribbean, because Pozo is a Cuban descended from Jamaicans, whose father worked as a railroad man. That is why this painter can never leave out the locomotive, the rails and always, in every painting, the face of the canefield.
It's not just Pedro who is present in these paintings, there is whispering from Nicolas Guillen, Carpentier and Lezama Lima, Pales Matos, Julia de Burgos, Marcus Garvey, CLR James, George Lamming, Derek Walcott, Jose Marti and Maximo Gomez, are also present in every fragment of the Antillean soil. A bird's head emerges victorious from the fist that seems to enclose it in the prison of the frame, the walls. Water well where the perfect stroke is seen, the imaginary world that inhabits the green background of the well that Pozo brings to mind. as only a master with his training, his vision. his history, and his command in the art of merging color, drawing and image. In his paintings the Caribbean resurges victorious from stagnant waters, converted in the proverbial bird whose two wings are Puerto Rico and Cuba, now Santo Domingo as its heart, and the gaze of Raul Enmaneul Pozo, clear and clean.
* Dominican poet, essayist and dramatist. (April 2004)
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