At 18, Luiz Cruz Azaceta fled Cuba from the threat of compulsory military conscription under Fidel Castro’s newly formed regime. He moved to the U.S. and used his previous experience with the dictatorial regime to create his work. Azaceta explores the themes of terrorism, war and exiles in his 29-piece exhibition that spans from 1980 to the present. Oppression and the human spirit weave together to bring this affecting exhibition to life.
His use of common scenes ravaged by the effect of war and oppression gives the vehicle to explore people’s struggle with tragedy and depression against hope and optimism in an oppressive environment. His artwork further explores these opposing desires and the constant struggle humans have within themselves and outside forces.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether you go or not, Luis Cruz Azaceta (A Ver) traces Cruz Azaceta’s career and explores the themes that are the focus of his singular art. The author discusses how the Cuban diaspora, above all, has shaped the artist and how the experience of exile has found expression through starkly forceful self-portraiture in many of his works. The book also examines the artist’s ongoing concern with current events. Cruz Azaceta has responded to national crises, such as the AIDS epidemic, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, with graphically powerful paintings, mixed-media pieces, and installations. His art reminds us that there are no easy solutions to the presence of violence and cruelty, exile and dislocation, and solitude and isolation.