Manuel Mendive is considered the most prominent contemporary Afro-Cuban artist, whose work is inspired by his own Yoruba family background. Santeria, a religious faith derived from West African beliefs and Roman Catholicism, provides the foundation of his work. He lives outside of Havana, surrounded by a menagerie of birds, dogs, and fish among other animals, which appear in paintings and sculpture. Trained in traditional Western art techniques, Mendive cites old master influences, along with his use of African myth to inform his examination of contemporary life. Pescador incorporates the Diaspora, African creation myths, and the symbolism of cowrie shells in a magical painting of fishermen.
Born in 1944 in Havana, Manuel Mendive graduated from San Alejandro Academy in 1962. His recent solo shows have been in Florida, California, Boston, and La Laguna, Spain. His works are held in collections such as the National Museum of Fine Arts in Cuba as well as international collections in Russia, Norway and Denmark, among others. He currently lives and works near San Jose de la Lagas in Cuba.
Image courtesy of the artist and Magnan Metz Gallery, New York.