HomeCubaTribute to José Martí in Greece

Tribute to José Martí in Greece

(Taken from the Facebook of Oriol Marrero, counselor / consul of EmbaCuba Greece)
“Monte I am …”
“28 / ONE”.
It’s January 28th.
The walls of Sophocles street no. 5 in Athens more than once have been honored to host photographic or painting exhibitions by Cuban artists living in Greece, and not only.
The sites and walls in social networks that are born in Sophocles no. 5 in Athens many times they have shown paintings or collections of paintings, photographs and drawings of children, young people, and also Cuban painters who reside in various European countries, and not only.
For example, the last children’s and youth contest “With Cuba in the heart”, in its third edition of 2020, hosted some 50 paintings and drawings from young compatriots who reside in various countries around the world. Besides Cuba: from Italy, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece. And in Greece, from Athens, Crete, Lesbos, Evia, Larissa, Peloponnese, among other cities.
Almost all Cuban artists and musicians residing in Greece have performed and given presentations, some of many hours long, very massive, in Sophocles no. 5, like not a few Greek artist brothers. At the last meeting, a little over a year ago, more than 200 Cubans living in Greece and more than 50 children gathered.
However, today an unprecedented event has taken place on the patriotic, cultural and symbolic plane. And it is that it is a relevant date in the history of the Homeland.
It’s January 28th.
For the first time, and in greeting to the 168th anniversary of the birth of the National Hero of Cuba that is commemorated today, an exhibition of paintings on José Martí has been mounted, simultaneously in the cinema of the municipality of Mariel, in Cuba, and in Athens, capital of Greece, more precisely in Sophocles street no.5.
Circumstances force a reasonable and temporary change in social practices in order to preserve human health, but this does not mean that we stop working for a moment, create, promote variants, take shortcuts in the face of risk, without demobilizing. The joint exhibition of paintings “Mariel-Atenas”, in real time, is proof of this.
It will not be necessary to explain the details and genesis of this idea. Those who have worked intensely and silently in its conception, design and execution during the last two months, have not had much time to rest, with a narrow work, almost always at dawn, specifying details, ideas, consulting opinions, exchanging criteria, designs, concepts, paintings, photos, comments on sites mentioned by Martí, on his words and thoughts about Greece, about Cuba and the relations between the two peoples, specifying historical and geographical details. Consulting perceptions on whether or not a painting conveys a desired meaning, and so on. And a curious detail of the story, in times of pandemic: hours and weeks working together, closely, and people do not know each other physically.
Thus, in December 2020 the idea of holding an exhibition of paintings in Athens dedicated to the 168th anniversary of the birth of José Martí was born and was carried out, which was happily also organized at the cinema in Mariel, Cuba, and which was inaugurated there today. with success according to the images that have been shared of this event, with the presence of authorities and the general public.
And this expo has also been “inaugurated” in Athens a few hours ago, although without public under the circumstances, but it will be published in full below, painting by painting, so that it can be enjoyed by all interested (obviously with the full agreement of his actor).
The “sui generis” opening was attended by the Cuban ambassador to Greece, comrade Zelmys Domínguez Cortina and the counselor / consul José Oriol Marrero Martinez.
The exhibition contains direct photographs of the originals of works recently made in the city of Atenas by the young and creative Cuban painter Oniel Rodríguez López, El Palmerito. Each person who so wishes will be able to “see” the exhibition shown below, appreciate it. Thanks in advance for it.
It is an act of justice and a duty to heartily thank the young Cuban painter Oniel Rodríguez López for his contribution to making this idea of holding his exhibition in Athens materialize, and also, in such a short time.
Also, thank him for bringing to painting and expressing from the plastic work, some elements that characterize the indisputable cultural links of José Martí with Greece and “the Greek”.
Likewise, I would like to thank him for having been inspired, for some paintings, by certain images from the modest photographic exhibition “José Martí: with Greece in his heart”, and for creating original images that allow us to better understand Martí’s love for “what Greek ”, in a symbiosis between plastic creation and research, in the approach to historical events between two brother peoples, as can be seen in some paintings, by the way, almost all made by the author, in coffee.
Underline one essence: this is not an apologetic attempt to “grecize” Martí. Martí is as Cuban and as Latin American as the palms and the stream of the Sierra. But that did not mean that Martí ceased to be a citizen of the world, a universal being, an executor and a depository of the best that civilizations have bequeathed, in the field of emancipatory and libertarian struggles, and also of culture, science, languages and the arts, including painting, of which it is said by those who knew him closely that he was a profound connoisseur, that in his conversations and meetings with friends he spoke a lot about painting and painters, while occasionally offering to his guests a cup of chocolate prepared with their own hands.
So it would not be by chance that on December 31, 1875, at the age of 22, thirteen years younger than the young painter Oniel, he wrote in the Universal Magazine of Mexico:
“Art is a form of harmony. Sometimes the irregularity is artistic; but this irregularity in painting must be logical among its accidents, as the vagaries of poetic fantasy must be consistent and grouped in unity. Monotony is fierce, because it extinguishes everything, as if it even extinguishes the sanctities and customs of love; in painting, parallel lines, symmetrical points, equal and alternate lines geometrize the figure, vitiate the whole, destroy the grace and undulations of the work with the harshness of the lines. There is no beauty in rigidity; life is mobile, unwrapped, abandoned, springy, active; the flesh must be felt; the nerve has to be palpated in the gesture of movement… In painting there is no such thing as the simple: the first degree is the beautiful: the immediate degree is the sublime. It should not be said of a painter that he is correct; it must be said that he is superb, innovative, spirited and great ”.
It is January 28 even in Cuba (2:39 AM on the 29th in Athens).
It is the 168th anniversary of the birth of José Martí, National Hero of Cuba, Apostle of Independence, to whom Oniel has dedicated his innovative and spirited exhibition from Athens, entitled, 28 / ONE.
Thanks Oniel, thanks to Mariel. Thanks to all the friends who will spend a few minutes appreciating the work of a young Cuban painter who loves his homeland and his origins, from the now silent – and almost frozen – Athens.
Next: images that make up the expo of the young Cuban artist and creator Oniel Rodríguez López, El Palmerito, entitled “28 / ONE”, inaugurated today in Mariel, Cuba, and in Athens, Greece, in greeting to the 168th anniversary of the Hero’s birth Cuban national, revolutionary, writer, poet, translator, polyglot, humanist, consul, soldier, killed in combat for the freedom of Cuba on May 19, 1895 in Dos Ríos, in eastern Cuba. He was born on January 28, 1853, in Havana, very close to the city walls. Martí studied Greek, loved Greece, its culture and her struggles, wrote about Greece in several hundred journalistic works, in poetry and novels. He translated works from English to Spanish on Greek and Roman Antiquity. He cited more than 250 Greek royal or mythological personalities, and some 80 cities and sites in that country.


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