Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba


José Ramón Chávez, a graphed history

Gloria Machado León 29 junio, 2017
«Graphics have quickly become an essential part of our vision. They have counted the talent of artists and the conception of the didactic and aesthetic functions of the graphic, a conception that is situated in the international current of considering this manifestation as an appreciable exponent of the culture.

The graphic requires immediate communication. By its passerby audience, its system of daily references and incessant thematic variation demands from the artist certain conditions for its practice.

With special interest, during the first years of the revolutionary process the artists of the Cuban graphic art devoted themselves to exalting, glorifying and reflecting the most transcendental events in Cuba after the triumph of January 1st, 1959: the development of the harvest, the campaign Literacy, the work of the CoR and the FMC, among others. The designers and matanceros artists were also inserted in the different salons and exhibition projects that called this manifestation.

José Ramón Chávez studied at the Academy of Painting and Sculpture San Alejandro, where he only remained for two years for personal situations. However, his studies at the National School of Paintings between 1961 and 1963 gave him general knowledge of Cuban culture and art in all its manifestations.

His relentless pursuit of knowledge and attachment to his teachers made his self-learning aggrandize from the daily exercise of will. From 1963 to 1967 he worked professionally as a cultural coordinator in Calimete, his birthplace. There he was linked to the creation of groups of amateurs, which demonstrated his fondness for painting with personal exhibitions, designs and murals in different work centers.

Later he began to make collapsible banners and other means of propaganda that imposed professional life, which provided him with skills in handling and exploring the expressive and technical possibilities of this manifestation. Undoubtedly this was the first learning exercise for the designer who was beginning to gestate.

In 1971, José Ramón Chávez won the National Poster Contest with 5 works, among which stand out The one who knows more, teaches the one who knows less. During the following years he also received prizes in this contest, in addition to adding awards in the Hall of the Military Graphics, the contest Logo 40 anniversary of the Granma Landing and the Day of the FAR, in the room dedicated to 45 years of Giron and The provincial salons of graphic propaganda and posters.

Generally it achieved the symbolic and formal efficiency of its cartelística supported in the use of texts or slogans that transmitted, conjugating them with the images in its proposals to create a conceptual contextualization, more effective to reaffirm the essence of the message. He has participated in more than 50 collective exhibitions in the province, nationally and internationally. His work forms part of important private and public collections in different latitudes.

Member of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba and of the Cuban Fund of Cultural Assets, he assumed his life as a grafic history, apprehended the beauty of the everyday, of the emerging, capacities that made him one of the most important designers of the country.

Original text by on June 29th, 2017

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