Sosa Bravo

Sosabravo, Labyrinth of Creative Adventures…

Last modified: January 6, 2023

Painting? Engraving? Ceramics? Drawing? Sculpture? The artistic frontiers of Alfredo Sosabravo (Sagua la Grande, 1930) have been broken through the time. His present work in any of the forms, including glass (with fantastic pieces made in Murano, Venice), is in constant mutation. This could be considered a “hybrid” of creative experiences, a labyrinth of numerous adventures over surfaces and materials that recreate a vast personal work, in which it is difficult to perceive the beginning of his path.

The history of the artist, who received the National Prize of Plastic Arts in 1997, is compiled in several pieces which speak about the past and the present, with marks of his steps through the life. There are torsos, machines, birds, strange and exotic animals removed from the creative jungle of his imagination. Now they repose in silence, with layers and layers of time over the surfaces.

Sosabravo revives the memories which are far-off, and sometimes close, because his look touches from one minute to the next the past constructed in the works to pull out reasons, forms that live again in his artistic present. They are like waves that go and come…

The ceramist, painter, draftsman, sculptor…studied between 1955 and 1957 at the Elemental School of Plastic and Applied Arts, annex to the Plastic Arts Academy “San Alejandro”, Havana. Alfredo Sosabravo, with this peculiar manner of working where the characters and objects seem to be conversing in another dimension, has always have multiple working ways and an overflowing imagination, soaking his creations with a collection of hidden features. These are: a synthesis of elements that come from the new figuration, from the pop art to popular art: the combination of organic forms with others taken from mechanisms constructed by the man; spontaneity, humor and freshness; as well as a great mastery and an endless invention. In his paintings, Sosabravo talks to the spectator, and he communicates through phrases constructed with multi-colored letters that arrive in cascade among the forms (arrows, black lines outlining the drawing) and that come from his times of draftsman and engraver. All of these silhouette his style, and enriches the vanguard of today’s Cuban painting; the symbols, the multiple colors and the vital energy able to express our essences, together with the synthesis of the cultural diversity.

The seasons fill the time of men with dissimilar feelings in any remote spot of the world. They touch our heartstrings with a magic that goes and comes every three months. A similar phenomenon happens in this artist: drawing, ceramics, engraving and painting, the diverse manifestations touched by his talent, come and go like the seasons do -but not in the narrow three month time space-. We have here one of those artists who have reflected, in our plastic art, the ludic sense of the social psychology of the Cuban people, in a very original style.

“With his head full of birds, sirens, conchs, fish, spectacles or hats; that is to say with the head full of images, this master who daily talks to his pictures, talkative canvas which tell him as time is among them, this pastor of signs…loves painting, and he believes in the legitimate exorcizing operation that the creative art represents”. (Rafael Acosta de Arriba).

Toni Piñera
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Journalist for more than 30 years at the Granma newspaper, art and dance critic, professor at the National Academy of Fine Arts San Alejandro, curator of Cuban art exhibitions (former director of the La Acacia gallery, Havana), poet.

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