Silvia Fernández Arrojo

Silvia Fernández Arrojo (1918) Cuban

Samuel Feijóo born in San Juan de las Yeras, Las Villas, 1914, died in La Habana, 1992, A poet, novelist and folklore researcher, editor of the excellent magazines Islas y Signos. Painter and draftsman who appears for the first time in the art market. But this delay in appreciating his merits is not wholly imputable to the lack of aptitude and negligence of the critics, but to a great extent the result of the deliberate will of the artist to remain aside from the urban bustle, from the “cult” professional circles to which he was radically allergic, and also, of course, to the heterodox and provocative trend of his personality and of his works. True that Feijóo published many of his drawings in the several magazines he founded since the 1940s (Ateje, Guámpara y Chágara, El caballito del Guabairo, Bailarín fantoche, and the already mentioned Islas y Signos), but his painting could only be appreciated in the scarce solo shows he presented in Cienfuegos and Havana mainly in the 1960s. His favorite sources were always nature itself and those forms of creation afar from or alien to cultural orthodoxy. His friendly relation to Jean Dubuffet, “discoverer” of the so-called Art Brut and defender of the most severe counter-cultural positions in the Europe of the 1940s, would seem to approach him to this aesthetics that tributes to psychotic art, of children’s creativeness and of the so-called naïve art, which is only partially true. In truth, it would be more accurate to understand Samuel Feijóo peculiar aesthetics as a natural prolongation of his ethical position, of his permanent identification and defense of the deprived, humble classes, particularly of the Cuban peasants, and also as a logical consequence of his love for vernacular traditions and for Cuban nature.

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