René Portocarrero (1912 – 1985) Cuban
René Portocarrero Villiers was born at Cerro, Havana City, February 24, 1912 and died in Havana, April 7, 1985. Among 1924 and 1926, he attended different courses at Villate and San Alejandro Academies, but due to his disagreement with this kind of education, he started to paint by his own, that is why he was called self-taught painter.
Since then, his works are a sequence of subtle stages having a permanent topic: Cuba, its nature, people and popular parties.
In 1937, he serves as professor of Free Studies of Painting and Sculpture. He also developed a great labor as book illustrator, theater designer and ceramist.
Rene Portocarrero made numerous solo exhibitions in Cuba and abroad, gaining various prizes. His art work is part of the most notable collections of the world.
He published two books: El Sueño (The Dream), 1939, with own drawings and texts; and Las Máscaras (Masks), 1935, collection of twelve drawings.
It`s worthy to mention his labor at Murales placed at Prison of Havana, 1942; Bauta Church, 1943; National Hospital, 1961; National Theater and Habana Libre Hotel. Among his productions of the last decades, underscores the series Color of Cuba (1962-1963), showing carnnival figures, diablitos and popular saints, ornamental forms and landscapes of Havana; and Flora´s Portrays, 1966
He is winner of numerous prizes, among them the International Prize Sambra, awarding the best collection at the 7th Biennial of Sao Paulo. He was honored with different distinctions such as: Order of the Poland Culture, highest Insignia given by this country to foreign outstanding intellectuals and the Order of second level of Bulgaria in 1976. In 1979 ibecame honor council member of International Association of Plastic Artists from UNESCO. On October 4, 1981, Rene Portocarrero was praised with Félix Varela Order, first grade conferred by the State Council of Cuban Republic. On September 14, 1982, he was distinguished with the Azteca Eagle, the highest Mexican Insignia.