Casimiro Gonzalez was born in Havana, Cuba, where he studied in the National School of Fine Arts, and graduated as Set and Interior Designer. While he was in his last year of School, he participated in a contest of Scenography Design and Lights in The National Theater Festival of Cuba, and received two awards for his scenography in two plays: Macbeth and Blood Weddings,(1979). In 1980, Mr. Gonzalez immigrated to the United States .During his first year in Chicago, he worked for “El Latino Chicago” and “Imagenes” theatrical groups, as set designer, scenographer, customs and lights. He also worked as an interior designer for several restaurants and nightclubs in New York, Chicago, and Mexico. At the same time he was developing a serious interest towards painting, which has become the most fundamental part of his life. His work has been exhibited in several galleries in New York, Florida, Indiana, Washington DC, Chicago Illinois, Miami Florida, San Antonio Texas, Las Vegas Nevada, San Francisco, N. Carolina, Panama, and Barcelona Spain. His paintings are now part of private collections in several States in USA, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Germany, Canada, Singapore, Panama, Brasil and Israel. His work has been critically acclaimed throughout the United States, Argentina, Mexico, Spain and Sweden. He was commissioned to create the image for the official poster of the 1996 Chicago Latino Cinema Film Festival. In1998, received the South Miami Key of Florida for contribution to the artistic community of Dade County. Certificate of Appreciation, Miami Dade County of the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners in May 2001. In 2001 he was commissioned to create the image for the official poster of "The 5th Annual United States Conference on AIDS."
“Within every work of art exists a life and message which are witnesses
to the multitude of human emotions, from within the colors and the forms ,
comes this magic, but nothing surges outward without the dialogue between
the artist, the work and the public. This dialogue, while unspoken , is
fundamental and necessary in my life… and without it, I can not create”
“Essentially there are two thematic coordinates in his pictorial works: one is a lyric, nostalgic and political interpretation of Cuba, and a hymn to humanity. The other can be perceived as an active or contemplative form; this, generally is warm and affectionate, but can also be melancholy, bitter, sensual, dreamy and spiritual. Interpreting Casimiro is focusing on disappointment and loneliness in the midst of cruelty. Incidentally the characteristics of his personality are reflected in his Art: suffering and compassion for the feelings of other human beings. There is no hatred or rancor in his paintings or political facet, on the contrary, there is an interrogation. And there is something he never forgets, nor accepts, and it’s the excessive ambition of some who are capable of going to any lengths to attain success, even if it means stepping over and hurting other human beings.”
Jose M. Neisten, Ph.D. International Association of Art Critics, Paris, France
“For Cuban painter Casimiro, art is is an intellectual, spiritual and physical necessity… The artist needs to dedicate himself to what he does or needs to do. How to be a writer if you don’t write, or a painter if you don’t paint, without feeling any pain in the process, without giving up your artistic vision?”
“Casimiro: La necesidad de pintar, “Chicago Tribune: ¡Exito!,” February 17, 1994, p. 12
“Ten years ago, his bodies were emaciated, rendered in a monochromatic brown. His recent work uses bright, almost tropical hues, and the figures are solid and rounded, even massive. Perhaps this development is his reponse to a 16-year exile from his home in Cuba. The thin, isolated figures of his first years in Chicago perhaps reflected the initial shock and instability suffered by an immigrant in a new culture and in a new climate. And the sensual bodies and warm colors of his recent paintings may suggest a nostalgia and longing for the Caribbean, no longer his home.”
Bertha Husband, “Chicago Readers” newspaper, November 22, 1996
“…Rare landscapes that, without an excessive figuration, they give us the perfect idea of what they want to show…” “…Very tropical painting, which evidences emotion and humankind, in figures that remind us of the subjects of Botero (but more tropical, according to the painter)…”
Jesús Vega, “Una explosión de colores,” “Miami Herald: ¡Exito!,” 14 de mayo de 1997, p. 45
“[His paintings’] color, fresh and simple, border on modernity, try to communicate and create images easily recognized and of subtle significance. Definitively, a useful image, direct and with a comprehensible and moderate meaning…His messages of approximation also suggest the search for tranquility and order; the finding of a freedom that, shaped through situations, gestures, and colors, will bring us closer to the most warmth and the most human.”
Margarita Iglesias, “Casimiro González, La imagen eficaz,” ESPIRAL DE LAS ARTES, Año IV, Volumen VI, No 31/32, 1996
My first impression of the picturesque work by Casimiro Gonzalez was, to find myself with the magic realism where is taken place “Macondo” Caribbean world.
The color, the spontaneous ways, authenticity, innocence, pleasure and characteristics of his own characters, carry their special atmospheric space, where the Caribbean ways has taken over with a familiarity and reality, making magic in Casimiro Gonzalez’s word.
Symbolic figures of a surreal phase of magic realism in Casimiro Gonzalez’s well-cherished Cuba, is his objective, in which lies his creative imagination, discarding his emotions and nostalgic phase of his marvelous and unforgettable childhood, filled with color, a fantastic Caribbean word with yellow butterflies, impression, in consequence, forever making his life.
To contemplate Casimoro Gonzalez’s work is to be faced with a world without limits to the pure expression of an artist, that without hidden messages, reveals to us his innocent beings, the strength and reason of actions taken place in life, in which, are forever marked. In such way, Gonzalez introduces us to a symbolic magical world of dreams, and reality, enriching our own vision with his potent Caribbean colors and abundance of passion and life.
Juan Carlos Contreras Torres, Curator/Artistic Director, Foundation of Contemporary Arts, 1997
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