Ñiko at Bellas Artes: a scream on the wall

Ñiko at Bellas Artes: a scream on the wall
Fecha de publicación: 
26 June 2022
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Titles. A lot of movie titles. Some classic movies. Some somehow forgotten. Drama, comedy, documentaries. Films from a time where people gathered to watch a movie in a dark movie theater hall. Films from a time where every movie read ·made in Cuba.”


The National Museum of Fine Arts is exhibiting since June 17th at the Transitional Room of the Third Floor of the Cuban Art Building, the exhibition Ñiko. Poster imaginary, which is included in the program of the 3rd Havana Design Biennial.


Curated by graphic designer Pepe Menéndez, 2021 National Design Award, the exhibition treasures 74 art works created by Antonio Pérez González, Ñiko (Havana, 1941) between 1967-1988, as well as 20 digital reproductions from his work in Mexico, where he resides since 1992.


Politics-related posters are included, but movie posters prevail, from the holdings of the José Martí National Library, the Cuban Cinematheque, the Institute of Cuban History, and private collections.


Followers of the extraordinary tradition of 20th century Cuban poster art should not miss this exhibition.


Ñiko is praised as one of the most prominent and prolific designers of the generation that consolidated this movement, beginning in the 1960s.


A note from the Museum recalls that the movie posters he designed for the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC) are part of a legacy that, seen as a group of various authors, was named "Memory of the World" by the UNESCO Cuban and Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2017 and 2018.


And the note adds: The National Museum of Fine Arts proposes a new encounter with the poster, a very important utilitarian art in Cuba. The poetic visual universe of Antonio Pérez González (Ñiko) reveals to us one of the great masters of Cuban graphic design of all time.


Certainly, as designer Gisela Herrera García, head of the National Design Office (who was a student of Ñiko), stated, posters should always be a scream on the wall. And these works leave no one indifferent.


Due to his age and his health condition, Ñiko could not travel from Mexico. But he sent a message that was read by Pepe Menéndez at the exhibition opening:


"A sincere greeting from the other side of the heart. Remembering is like facing an unexpected quest. Years ago, some, I lived in Havana. A city full of emotions and surprises. I could walk in search of art or the everyday vicissitudes and reach spaces unique in its content.

I was lucky to become a graphic designer. And over the years, a lot of jobs came up. Nearly nine hundred, actually. Posters, as we know and admire them.


"Some of them have been chosen to become part of "Memory of the World". Today, a few are exhibited in a place I have always admired. That was and will continue to be part of my heart: The National Museum of Fine Arts of Cuba. And there, I became part of its legacy.


"To achieve this, dear friends remember me and hug me."


Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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