Lázaro Saavedra: 2014 National Plastic Arts Award
By: María Carla Gárciga
“My name is Lázaro Armando Saavedra González, but I could have been named any other way when I was born. My real name is Man, and I have become this man thanks to what other men have left behind. I learned this since I was a child through someone who introduced me to this difficult way of burning and enlightening my own way or other people´s way too. Through darkness and during several stages of my life, art was the luminous flame of a burning candle, a tool of the thinking and for thinking, because when we enlighten our own way there is a chance to help enlightening other people´s ways too.”
With these words Lázaro Saavedra started its speech in a ceremony that took place at the Fine Arts National Museum and which also celebrated the 20th anniversary of granting this award, established in 1994 to recognize the work of an artist whose contributions help the development of Cuban visual arts.
The jury, presided over by Eduardo Ponjuan, 2013 National Plastic Arts Award, and made up by other creators previously awarded, artists, art critics and curators, agreed to grant the award to Saavedra “for a work that has been kept alive and in constant renovation for decades” after evaluating the fifteen proposals presented by almost thirty institutions.
The artist´s versatility, seen in how he handles and works with different media characterized by the ethic commitment, critical perspective and wide thematic repertoire dealing with the problems in contemporary society in Cuba and abroad, were some of the elements taken into account by the jury to grant the award, as well as Saavedra´s work as a teacher “of great impact in the promotion of creators for the past 25 years”.
The artist thanked the support of his family, friends, and above all, the teachers that contributed to his education as a visual artist. He also said to be satisfied with the modest contribution he has made with his life and work, to the men that shall come after him.
During the ceremony were present Julián Gónzalez Toledo, minister of Culture; Rubén del Valle Lantarón, president of the Performing Arts National Council; Ana Cristina Perera, director of the Fine Arts National Museum, and Lesbia Vent Dumois, president of the Plastic Arts Section in the Association of Cuban Artists and Writers (UNEAC).