// Born in 1959 in Havana, Cuba
// Lives and works in Miami, FL
José Bedia is an internationally acclaimed Cuban painter whose art is inspired by many sacred sources, including initiation into the Brillumba lineage of the Afro-Cuban religion, Palo Monte. Bedia’s work often critiques colonial histories through combining myths, symbols and ritual elements with references to nature and global warfare.
His time in Angola as part of the cultural brigades who supported the Angolan-Cuban War against Namibia and South Africa (1985) amplified his quest for the African and indigenous roots of American cultures. He has since conducted extensive research in Peru, Mexico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Laos.
He participated in the first Havana Biennial (1984) and first showed abroad in Paris in Magiciens de la Terre (1989). He represented Cuba at the 1990 Venice Biennale and received a Guggenheim Fellowship (1992). Bedia and his family moved to Mexico in 1991 and settled in Miami in 1993. His art has since been exhibited in the Havana, São Paulo, Venice and Beijing Biennales, where he has received several awards.
His work is featured in numerous collections, including the Museo Nacional Palacio de Bellas Artes (Havana); MoMA, Metropolitan Museum, Whitney Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim (New York); Tate Modern (London); Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, DC); La Colección Daros (Zurich), MEIAC, DA2, IVAM, CAAM (España); and MOCA and PAMM (Miami).
Bedia studied at the San Alejandro Art Academy and the Instituto Superior del Arte.
Piece in the Exhibit
José Bedia // Júbilo de Aponte, 2017, mixed media on mixed papers, 106 x 143 inches. (courtesy of the artist)
… the author of the book presents himself in this portrait displaying on his chest a Laurel of fidelity, a palm for victory, what seems like a compass to the left is seen the carpentry bench where he made said Book … and childhood represented by a figure of a boy tied to a column and in the foreground the face of an old man … also shown on the bench are an inkwell, rulers, and pots of paint.