José Tola and José Bedia Prints Collection


The artistic creation of contemporary Latin America is not only a mixture of multicultural backgrounds but also is the direct visual expression and more colorful. This time, YiCOLLECTA introduced two important artists from Latin America, those incredible prints by José Tola from Peru and José Bedia from Cuba.

José Tola

Peruvian painting and sculpture artist José Tola was born in Lima, the capital of Peru in 1943. He graduated as a professor of painting from Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, Spain. On September 5 this year, José Tola died of cancer at the age of 76. He held his first solo exhibition in 1970, followed by dozens of group and solo exhibitions in Peru and abroad. He won the Tecnoquímica Biennale in 1998 and participated in the 2nd Biennial of Havana, the International Painting Biennale of Cuenca, and was held exhibitions at the National Museum, Lima and the Lima Osama Pedro Museum.

José Tola has more than 40 years of experience in the art world. His style of painting is expressionism. He is known for his series of works "Vivir Entre Monstrous." José Tola mentioned in an interview that when creating the monster series, “After painting seventy-two hours, without stopping, without eating, without sleeping, without bathing, I enter a kind of state of grace. If my knee or back hurt, there, stuck to the canvas, I feel nothing ... I start without any theme, without any sketch, although with information and references from the outside world that days before I collected ... Actually, all the time I am living inside the box! The attractiveness of the monsters is not so much the physical appearance, but their relationship with the world, their sensitivity, taking into account all the negative things that they have inside ... My thing is to take enough to change frequency; mine is to go down to hell, feel the danger of being able to stay there and return to reality with a different vision; mine has to do with appropriations of reality.”

From his hometown of Lima to European countries, José Tola travels to different regions to study, paint or exhibit his work. His works include oil paintings, prints, stained-glass windows, sculptures, and the most famous sculptures like" Silencio," located in El Libro Park, Lima. In addition, José Tola is also involved in opera production. The National Choir and the National Symphony Orchestra performed Charles Gounod's opera "Fausto", which tells the story of a man who sold his soul to the devil for youth. José Tola was invited to add oil paintings to the opera, combining opera and art.

José Tola's work has also been collected by Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Lima; Museum of Arts of Lima; Museo de Arte Moderno; World Bank, Washington DC, USA.

José Bedia

Cuban contemporary artist Jose Bedia, born in 1959 in La Habana, Cuba, loved painting and was gifted at an early age. He entered the famous and has found 200 years of school scuela Nacional de Bellas Artes "San Alejandro" to study at a young age. After graduation, he entered the Havana High School of Art in Cuba with excellent results. He participated in the first Havana Biennale, The Biennial of Havana, in 1984 and also represented Cuba in the Venice Biennale in 1990.

Jose Bedia is interested in religion, popular culture, American Indian culture, Cuban Bantu culture. He was participated in the International Cultural Brigades, participated in a war, and the struggle between Cuba and Angola against Namibia and South Africa, and this war has deepened him to interested in American culture with African roots, prompting him to visit Peru, Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Zambia, Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania.

Known for his Neo-Primitivistic style, it's often seen mythological elements, altars, and sacraments in his paintings. These are derived from the "Santería" religion he believes in, privately incorporated the spirit of Yoruba into the faith that came from Catholicism to hide the religion from the colonizer. He created these paintings to attack colonialism. Jose Bedia is a pioneer in the transformation of Cuban art and a member of the founding organization "Volumen I", which deeply influences contemporary Cuban art and descendant Cuban artists.

Jose Bedia's art is like graffiti and murals that connect ancient and modern, blending multiculturalism and cosmology. The gods in the works, the spirits of all things, are mostly presented in black, the scale are weird, the outlines are blurred, with the strong main color, plus a few totems and sharp lines, seem to be like a religious ritual or a center of the universe.

His work is collected in institutions, such as Museo Nacional Palacio de Bellas Artes (La Habana), MoMa ,Metropolitan Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC), Guggenheim, Tate Modern, Smithsonian Museum (Washington), MEIAC Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, IVAM the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, CAAM (España), MOCA( Los Angeles ), MAM and PAMM in Miami.

(Exhibition Ended)