The history of Camaguey told by its sculptures

For everyday, the extraordinary is often overlooked, such is the case of Camaguey's streets and squares, which hoard almost 500 years of history on its cobblestones. Next to celebrate this important anniversary, the city intends to dust off and dress its best galas accompanied by the work of their children, both the begotten and the adopted, who recognize their status as a mother.

City 500 is the ambitious project that has been proposed, not only the modernization of technical networks of water, electricity, telephony and sewerage, but also the restructuring of the urban spaces, turning them into cultural plazas, lively memories of traditions and idiosyncrasies, which are condensed through the different artistic manifestations, among them the sculpture.

A true example of this is Martha Jimenez Perez, from San German, Holguin, creative of the Sculpture Complex of the Plaza del Carmen, which has become a symbol and legend of the city. Artistically alluding to the process of mixing that took place in Cuba, the ensemble integrates the Spaniard sitting on a bench reading, the descending African driver, who distributes the water to the neighbors of the square, the couple of lovers who arrange their encounter, in the light of the lantern, and the 3 gossipers who enjoy a moment of rest and intimacy. The author explains that, based on her interest in developing large-format urban sculpture and thanks to the support of local authorities, the implementation of this project was made feasible and although she never imagined the universal importance of her figures, she has taken them as a source of motivation and stimulation for new creations.

The Plaza del Carmen is also the dwelling chosen by the artist for her study workshop, a space where her muses converge in an intimate act of creation. This is where the visitor can stop to taste the work in detail and even acquire it, if desired.

But Martha Jimenez does not conform, the Longitudinal Park, since 2004, also immortalizes her mythical creatures, giving the passer-by a mural of her series Ascension, in which she portrays two cyclists who seem to float beyond their situation of having to move from one place to another on Chinese bicycles, using carnival humor as a resource for the reflection of reality. The mural was constructed with pieces of enamelled pottery of different sizes and shapes. The couple, dressed like harlequins, floats on the handlebar and the wheels of a bicycle in a celestial background, trying to approach for a kiss.

With this precedent and within the context of City 500, a project that Martha Jimenez describes as "revolutionary" in conceiving the aesthetic as an active element in spiritual transformation and improvement of man, the artist has under her responsibility elements of the setting of several hotels, with artworks worked through monumental bronze sculpture, a line that she aims to continue to address in both local and international squares.

Among her future prospects, she has several exhibitions of pottery and painting abroad, and although countries such as Turkey host her work, it is in Camaguey where Martha Jimenez has found her consecration as an artist, managing to merge in the history of a city that already reaches its 500th birthday.


1.Gonzalez Flora, Literature and Publishing, Emerson College. ¨Martha Jimenez: the urban sculpture in the colonial center of Camaguey¨.
2. Personal interview with the artist.

By: Elizabeth Gonzalez Pimentel
Licenciada en Psicología