Zaida del Río, Between the Instinct and the Inspiration

Last modified: January 10, 2023

Fantasy, authenticity, imagination pass through the work of Zaida del Río, from where emerges a game of great fertility, where the ideas, the natural chant, the virtuous strokes and the sensual vibration occupy the first artistic levels.

In the catalogue of resources used in her works, the line is always present –an infallible expressive resource of the creator- as well as a certain perseverance of wash drawing, and the ink…a mixed technique that seduces at first sight. She extracts “the most desolated, the deepest of the divine essence, and transmits from inside with an inventory of signals that we can hardly decipher…”, as Miguel Barnet says.

Time has passed however, Zaida del Río -(Guadalupe, La Villas, 1954), draftswoman, painter, ceramist and engraver; graduated from the National School of Arts (ENA) in 1974, the Superior Institute of Arts (ISA) in 1987, and the l’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris (1989)-, continues impassive in her place, surrounded by art, shaking her skin and “scratching” inside to take out memories and dreams, engendering her creations to a slow rhythm and low fire, preparing the land for the artistic harvest which in the near future will hit our sensitivity with a precise gesture, the fragile elegance and a lot of decision.

Zaida is Cuban. The Isle seems to reveal itself within her creative entrails, the countryside wakes up in her paintbrush-crayon with the brightness of the morning; and the night does not sleep in her images, it swirls around with the nature boiling in her woman veins. She accumulates adjectives and synonyms -of beauty- among layers and layers of lines, shades, gestures, and some colors that land for no reason. Zaida is also a poet. Words and images are interwoven once. They can be seen walking together for some time. In her oneiric universe, it seems that the game of tropical Cuban nature entered suddenly with the spectral light of our cultural traditions, reduced to a language of images of art, in which you achieve a collection where nothing collides, and where the chromatic accents establish a fortunate dialogue with the line.

By means of forms created by warp, weft, disappearance and appearance of the line, Zaida del Río expresses her artistic worries through fragments in which she “talks” about the history of the man, recreates magic elements and she looks a little inside herself. “I almost always paint me -used to say the spontaneous and magic creator. All what I do is very personal, I inspire on my experiences, my work is a faithful picture of the ways I have taken at each moment. For a better understanding of the world, it is enough with the mirror of my house.
I am not tired of myself yet”.

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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