René Portocarrero

Havana, Cuba, 1912-1985

At 14 he started he began learning painting at the Academy of San Alejandro, but he quickly abandoned them for what was considered, above all, a self-taught artist.

Apart from painting, Portocarrero was also interested in ceramics, scenography and book illustration. He published two books: “The Masks” made in 1935, with his drawings and “The Dream” (1939), with his drawings and texts. At the end of the 30s, he taught at the Free School of painting and sculpture; He also taught at the jail in Havana, where he made a large mural in 1942. This realization marks the beginning of a series of murals executed in various public places. In 1957 and 1963 he participated in the Sao Paulo Biennial, and in 1952 and 1966 in the Venice Biennale.

Throughout his career, he received several awards and distinctions both in his country and abroad. His works are exhibited in various public collections around the world. In 1967, the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana dedicated a great retrospective. Portocarrero dealt with numerous themes in series forms; mainly about Cuba, its spirit, its people and its popular festivals. His work is characterized by a great expressive dynamism that is usually translated by live brushstrokes.