Alicia Leal (Sancti Spiritus, 1957), painter, draftswoman, ceramist, and photographer, in her more than three decades of irrepressible work between forms and colors, has managed to make her works represent a feeling, a glance to the purely Cuban-Caribbean because they are open doors to us in a pictorial dimension; and she has achieved it through the spontaneity of the right brushstroke that touches the roots, the veins of the nationality.
With the language of the city and the people, in these daily tiny poems, she constructs a work where the characteristic of the drawing captures the dynamism and the sensuality of life on the Isle. To penetrate in what is invisible to the naked eye, to see far beyond, is her most urgent creative desire. The artist -who graduated from San Alejandro in 1980- in her recent works, gives a powerful lens to make us accomplices to her pictorial visions.
A long meditation and a very patient execution are noticed in her works. They are noticed because the painter’s usual care towards the procedure, towards a well-done work, attaints, in these paintings, an extensive dominance that makes us forget the usual pretexts. Her painting – which has reached maturity- is of an intimate reality, strange even to the true reality (in spite of the realism of her figures or objects), born from a lyrical introspection, from a permanent mood; because Alicia Leal is an “inspired” artist who hides her phantoms – memories and experiences- in these familiar funds, in which the spectator is visiting, and at the same time he feels subjugated and close to the atmosphere, to the characters… The “ingenuous” breath of her creations forces the barriers between the educated and the popular to set a state of crisis in ankylosed definitions that limit expression and creative liberty.
In her pieces, she creates tension in the figure as a product of the perfectly realized drawing and apparent outlines. The extension of the brushstroke and the pictorial climate that surrounds it suggests the presence of multiple characters, or of only one in a full impulse. A succession of bodies and images from the daily work, suggestively and lovely connected, sometimes with surrealist but credible overtones narrates the spirit of festivity and happiness as an invitation to participate in them. It is, in a word, in the feature of personal drawing where she captures Cuban dynamism and sensuality.
Alicia Leal is one of the most important creators in the Cuban cultural spectrum nowadays. She has to her credit more than 160 exhibitions and 30 personal ones. Her work is part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of Fine Arts and of the National Council of Plastic Arts (Havana, Cuba), of the Embassy of Spain at the UN (New York, United States of America), and The National Gallery of Jamaica. Her work is well known in Europe, the United States of America, and Latin America.