Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba


Agustín Drake: teacher’s simplicity.

Tamara Caridad Mesa González 3 mayo, 2019

In Professor Drake’s eyes, one can glimpse, well inside his 85-year-old pupils, the satisfaction that fills him with pride and joy, and that goes by the name Rios Flashing.

Agustín, the outstanding sculptor from Matanzas with an extensive work recognized throughout the country and abroad, has participated in more than 80 exhibitions and still feels that healing and art are two essential ways to save the world.

His intervention in the Matanzas chapter of the XIII Biennial of Art in Cuba has amply demonstrated how effective and fruitful the work of the artist is when he works with the heart.

With his series Objects and fantastic animals in metal and plastic, together with his project of sculptures in urban spaces, Drake is concerned because the object he selects for his work is clearly identified and thus releases a series of sensitive connotations, which condition the soul of the spectators, who intrigued, seduced and finally moved.

The artist, with the placement of their objects in different contexts, sometimes alters the space with great intentionality. Luis Octavio Hernández, general coordinator of the Board of Directors of the Biennial in Matanzas, said that Drake’s work has immeasurable topicality. The director said that the work of this author reflects and also denounces the voracious colonialism that the empire holds for our peoples through a cultural war, which he warns through his artistic work.

Agustín Drake has given form to an unusual population of metallic beings among which they appear from birds, arthropods, monsters taken from the imaginary medieval era, to strange war machines and warlike angels.

Nothing in his sculptures has been created from pure matter, but from the most diverse objects coupled by the fire of that instrument of production that the craftsmen have taken from the factories to put it at the service of modern sculpture.

The animals of Drake belong to a heraldic fauna, there is no will to create beings that run, sleep, suffer, desire or attack, vibrant of life, but to present an emblematic wardrobe that limits itself to show off its attributes, they are not topical beings Dreams extracted from the subconscious, nor entities of nightmares and mystery.

The children who pass through his gallery are captivated by so much creativity and only they know the world that their minds recreate when they touch the work with their eyes and play with the concepts far removed from the artistic technicalities that childhood provokes them.I asked him how does Drake feel about the great repercussion of his work in this Biennial?

He answered me: «Chica, I do not know if my work has had great acceptance or not … and I do not think that is as important as seeing the number of native and foreign participants who have participated in Matanzas Biennial, the brotherhood and the companionship without competences that it is clear from this among those involved and most moving of all: the response of the Matanzas public to our work.”

– What will you not forget about this Matanzas Biennial?(He smoked a cigar, fixed it with the tips of his fingers and sentenced):

«I cannot forget a single detail of the Biennial. However, that inauguration … umhhh … on the bank of that river and between the bridges, I had never seen it even in the old carnivals of beautiful mulatto women who paraded in the streets. What is most appreciated is that the Yumurino public did not congregate there for a different reason, they did not look for alternatives to attract people, and they were all crowding the edges of the river for the sole reason of the Biennial that is priceless. »

A part of Drake’s work can be seen in exterior enclaves, enhancing the legacy that we inherited from our ancestors hundreds of years ago. The teacher’s sculpture uses junk, pots, dissimilar instruments to compose objects that despite articulating a new representation retain their original personality.

With his wit, this respectful gentleman of traditional style and didactic mind, overloads the objects of historical values ​​and offers him anthropological and religious connotations.

The brightness in their eyes, I repeat, is the reliable proof that for this Matanzas Rivers Flashing became gift of muses for his 85 years:

«It is amazing the number of visitors we have gathered in our spaces and that families attend this meeting has been phenomenal. I think that we, the artists, have fallen short of the support that Matanzas and his people gave us, so I can tell you that my work is a small complement that is part of the great success that this event of artistic interventions has been María Magdalena Campos Pons. »



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