Paolo Curti / Annamaria Gambuzzi & co - arte contemporanea - via pontaccio 19 20121 milano - tel +39.02.86998170

marta maria pérez bravo



Tres iyawos


Quiero por tigo el cielo

Para la entrega

Mas fuerte nos protegen mejor

Esta en tus manos

Paolo Curti & Co. Gallery opens its new space with a personal exhibition of the Cuban artist Marta Maria Pérez Bravo.

The choice of this artist come from a careful consideration of the so called Third World emergent situations and is part of the international research on the contemporary art survey that the gallery will pursue.
This is the first Italian exhibition of the Cuban photographer, born in L’Havana on 1959.

Marta Maria Pérez Bravo has been using black-and-white photography as the sole support for her work ever since the 1980's.From the early small-format works to her larger-scale pieces her cherished and hallowed assets are presents: her own body, the syncretism of her culture and her search for meaning and identity. Pérez Bravo uses her body as an altar, a vessel, a gate, a temple or a bird-house, that is, as a vivid metaphor of her dreams and visions.

For her, photography is a way of fixing symbolic scenarios, in which she constantly refers to the myths and rituals of Cuban witchcraft, known as Santeria. Although she uses votive offerings and other elements of popular lore.

The exhibition will have 14 large-scale pieces, as Todo lo tengo, todo me falta (I've got everything. I'm lacking everything), Tiene la llave del destino (I have the key of the destiny), Para la entrega (For the giving), in which she appears gathering the remains of her cropped hair in a white sheet.

Marta Maria Pérez Bravo has been invited to many group shows: as the Teatro National of L'Havana in 1981, the first Havana Biennial in 1984, the Dusseldorf Kusthalle in 1991, the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art of New York in 1988, the Third Havana Biennial in 1989, and recently the Vienna Kunsthalle for the exhibition "Cuba: maps of desire".


Cream: Contemporary Art in Culture

Marta Maria Pérez Bravo
has been selected for "Cream: Contemporary Art in Culture",
Phaidon edition, London (1988),
a selection of one hundred artists who will cross the new millennium, by Rosa Martinez, one of the most attentive international contemporary art critic, who took part of the jury Venice Biennial international in 1999.

Cuba: los Mapas del Deseo

Marta Maria Pérez Bravo
in conversation with
Rosa Martinez
Rosa Martínez: Since the 80's, you have been using black and white photography as the exclusive medium for your work. Could you explain your choice?
Marta Maria Pérez Bravo: I chose to use black and white photography for my work because it is the aesthetic resource that comes closest to documentation; with black and white photography, you can capture an event that is happening, you can represent a certain action. Due to other formal characteristics of my work, this document does not provide information about the specific time and space where the event occurs or takes place. Black and white photography is capable of giving the whole an oneiric feeling, of producing associations with apparitions and other aspects that do not belong to a concrete reality. On the other hand, the world of religion that my work refers to is a world where each and every colour is charged with meaning. The aesthetics of sacred and cult objects that are made reference to can be extremely appealing in terms of colour, yet this appeal often distracts from, or dilutes, the true meaning of the objects. But that, the meaning, is precisely what I am interested in; I want to bring out the very essence of the object I recreate, without adulteration.
Paradoxically, however, every religious object I use is made of specific materials and colours, although the observer can only distinguish shades of grey. In terms of the concept, the private ritual is also part of the work - the use of colours is part of the meaning, it is a kind of moral compromise with the subject.

"Cuba: los Mapas del Deseo"
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