Sunday, September 21, 2008

Carlos Manuel Soto (1955-2007)

Eye that does not see, heart that does not feel, 1998, oil on canvas, 39 in x 78 in

Last November, Tampa Police confirmed that Cuban artist Carlos Manuel Soto commited suicide. A friend found him hanging in his 7th avenue loft in Tampa.
A Cuban exile, Soto had been in the United States since August 2001, enjoying the independence of artistic expression. At the same time, he found himself confronting his dislocation, living daily life, and rapidly realizing the routine of American culture.

Soto had been active as an exhibiting artist since the early 1970’s. For more than a decade, as a Cuban intellectual, he was forced to live with persecution, harassment, and detentions by the political police of the Cuban government.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the Superior Pedagogical Institute (Enrique Jose Varona) in Havana. Then in 1991, from the same school, he was advised to drop his bachelor studies in fine art, for being a student whose ideals formed political and aesthetic viewpoints not in accordance with the institution. As an artist in Cuba, he was increasingly prohibited (1991-2001) from exhibiting in public facilities funded by the Cuban State as well as in privately owned galleries.

Soto's art reflected upon the themes of exile, culture, and identity. He explored the manner in which displacement reinforces and transforms cultural identity. His personal exhibition at Brad Cooper Gallery in Ybor City in 2003 included both work from his days under totalitarian context, and several selections from the recent experience of living with an American ideology.


TIROFIJO said...

anieb said...

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