Martha Jimenez Perez: The avatar
"Martha Jimenez is an interesting case in the context of Cuban artistic ceramics, characterized by the existence of very defined personalities developed from dissimilar formative processes and professional careers of various dimensions."
This woman lives in Camaguey, site of old cultural tradition, a city that in time replaced one of the villages among those founded by the Spanish conquistadors. A place of entrepreneurs from all over the island, a city known for its convoluted urban design, a place where the old artisan tradition of making the clay gave way to the archetypal tinajones, large vases used to keep the water, always scarce in the area. Area of ??proud people, lovers of the land and with permanent desires of individual and collective improvement.
On this substratum is supported a creative, product of mixed blood, resulting herself from a process of transculturation that is faithful reflection of that race that affirms an ethnic type of great beauty with intellectual characteristics able to assimilate all that time and the many influences brought to the beaches of the Greater Antilles. Can anyone then be surprised at the heterogeneous elements that make up Martha's creative arsenal? Her formation, as varied and dynamic as all the above factors, paved the way for an expressive way in which inseparable combinations, popular flavor, vernacular nuances and the highly sophisticated finish that saves her from all costumbrist risk: serious error in someone with the necessary background to express herself, to the level of winning of recognitions of diverse dimensions, national and international. Obliged by the baggage that she carries with the responsibility of the character and the intrinsic grace that marks her projection, she operates in planes that, being as diverse as they can imagine, have specific features that jurors of varied origin have recognized to make her receive prizes so much in events of artisan, also in those of high artistic range, coexisting her characters with works of greater stylistic definitions.
It is obvious that Martha Jimenez is a "gender specialist", understood as such a term to define the work aimed at making women the center of a job that, without extreme feminism, has it at the center of its objectives. Comfortable with the virtues and social limitations inherent in her condition, she has the penetrating attitude necessary to grasp those contemporary aspects capable of becoming a symbol; by daily tracing signs of a varied nature between what surrounds her, she has become an acute chronicler of her time whose attentive vision enables her to flee from the narrative fact. Without telling a story, however, these women exchange impressions, contrast their physical and intellectual attributes, speak of a time and difficult circumstances in which it is still useful to use the possibilities of sex to reach certain status or it is essential to go out with a jaba (the famous shopping bag of other latitudes) and thus bring to the house what was found in a distant selling post of the home. Located between the pedestrian and the treatment of very serious existential questions, the artist moves fundamentally within the parameters of that manifestation that has the mud as a fundamental raw material, even when her own concerns and the diverse mother nourishing that feeds her speech, the make use of the management of other resources and even the realization of drawings or paintings that do not necessarily serve as a basis for three-dimensional works. The wide range of her creative work allows her to go from the small transportable figure to a way of souvenir of a trip - the classic souvenir - to the monument that marks certain points of the city. Such traits, the very concerns of her personality, just let her move with a genuine language within contests that she establishes and then insists on transgressing to jump - with the grace of an acrobat - on the pitfalls and challenges of artistic creation .
Alejandro G. Alonso.
Havana, March 26, 1997