The Black

Born in San German, Holguin province, Martha Jimenez Perez, the painter, drawer and sculpture pioneer, adopted her "camagueyania" by imperatives of the one who learned to love the land that gave her possibilities for her intellectual development.

In the first course of the National School for Instructors-Teachers of Fine Arts she began her career while as a ceramist has been self-taught. 

From a very young age she worked with amateur artists, an activity that marked her deeply in her development. More than 25 years, she dedicated to the search and formation of values ??within people, without prior technical guidance, obtaining positive results.

Between the years '70 -'80 she developed an important teaching work with different groups of children, which led her to obtain several national and international distinctions in consecutive years.

Before dedicating herself to the pottery, she elaborated her characters through observation and projection through drawing and painting.

The world around her is her prime motivation; everything that happens in her neighborhood, in the streets, in the corners or avenues of our city; of her city.

"I started to work on this subject because I saw these characters in the street, mainly here in Camaguey, and I was interested in the black person, the fat person. I like that charisma, those ways that many people see ugly, but that are so, and for me are the features that motivate me, I try to express through technique the values ??that others do not see and that for me are truly important".

From her particular point of view, Martha praises and admires the woman's hard work. Of the mother who is also a worker and a housewife at a time and in spite of all this, seeks a space of the little that she possesses to devote to creation, to her intellectual enjoyment, to her projection as a cultured individual within a society that knows how to give it her rightful place and struggle with herself, self-disciplining so as not to succumb to the pressure of tasks of home.

She is not interested in the profusion of colors in her works, managing for it the whole range of grays and sepias, from the almost white to the deepest black.

The process of burning is for her the culminating moment - as for all ceramists - feeling truly attracted when she is immersed in it.

"For me pottery is something that inhibits me from everything else; Is something truly wonderful".

Her works are done in terracotta without cover and she obtains the color through reduction burns and engobes, treated wisely and subtly.

Her identification with the environment that surrounds her and within which she develops as a more citizen, leads her to discern between what can be merely superfluous and the evolutionary novelty consequent to the social process.

The moods, the psychology of the characters, come to us in a vivid way. She makes each person express what seems to happen within themselves.

Her transforming work of images gives us types, customs, scenes of yesteryear or contemporary, that by established prejudices for life we may seem grotesque, despicable or indecent, converted into poetic prints of a naivety that borders on the naïve.

Let us enjoy, therefore, this singular homage to "The Black".

By: Nazario Salazar Martinez. 
Artist of Camaguey