La Jungla de… Lidia Aguilera

The Jungle of…Lidia Aguilera

Last modified: February 14, 2023

She is, and has always been, an original artist. Hardworking. A dreamer that is also very realist. She is in love with ART, in plural. And although she is surrounded by other creative sons in her daily struggle through the years: paintings, drawings, ceramics…, it is the volume, the sculpture, that has always been her most valuable gem, her compass.

Lidia Aguilera (Santiago de Cuba) began his formation as sculptor at the school Clara Zetkin, and in the Plastic Arts at San Alejandro Academy. She is one of the most recognized artists of the volume in Cuba, and an outstanding example of perseverance, determination and tenacity; as were other great women/sculptors of our Caribbean island like Rita Longa and Jilma Madera. Each one of them in his personal way of touching volume, and finding the gods in each material.

Every so often Lidia surprises us with new adventures that join the long list of visual presents coming from her soul. The creator mutates, changes since the preceding exhibitions. It is like covering with a new skin, always with communicating vessels with the previous one, because inside there is the essence of her inspiration implicit. And even when the iron has trapped her creative instincts for a long time, the wood always goes and comes; it is the protagonist of her most recent sculptural stories.

In her present assembly of different types of wood, there is a game of forms that invites us to think of: Totem? Features of nature or fauna? Abstractions?… Each person can construct the work from the imagination. She offers us keys and, also, encourages us to visit the most internal spaces of man. In parallel with her sculptural work, the artist, who has more than 55 creations situated in Cuba and in other countries, constructs immense murals, which are like some kind of “games” that breathe as volumetric paintings on the walls.

While tasting with the eyes the pieces of Lidia Aguilera, founder of the Cuban Association of the Artisan Artists (ACAA), one discovers the designs which incorporate weaving forms in the space, giving us some transparencies that always permit to see the other side; because the creator has never liked the compact, she prefers to see further on and to continue like in an open path with no end, to the eternal. When one observes these creations in the gallery, it deeply feels like looking at a group of trees planted in the space. It is a piece of the artistic Cuban nature, and we kept thinking about the most universal of our creators: Wilfredo Lam. Are there some debts? Lidia recognizes that when she was finishing these pieces she saw similar forms, that reminded of him…And we seem to be immerse like in a new Jungle, and even when it could be a tribute, it is the Jungle of Lidia Aguilera.

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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