Cuban-American’s achievement a milestone for Hispanic-American artists

LACC Associated Faculty Member and Member of LACC's Faculty Advisory Board, Dr. Juan Martinez, Professor of Art History, is ensuring that Cuban American artists get the credit they deserve for their contributions to American art.

A committee of experts in art and art history commissioned Martinez to write a monograph, a book that compiles an artist’s achievements and incorporates his or her work into the history of art, on Cuban-American artist Maria Brito.

Brito was chosen by a panel of curators, art historians and artists, convened by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, as part of the A Ver: Revisioning Art History initiative, aimed at recognizing 10 Hispanic-American artists with monographs.

A Florida International University alumna, Brito is among the first Cuban-American artists to have her work immortalized in such a manner. Her achievement exemplifies the recognition that Hispanic artists are beginning to receive in American contemporary art.

“What the monograph points out is that she is very much part of the contemporary American scene,” Martinez said. “It inserts her in the tremendous diversity that is contemporary American art. She fits into the mosaic that is contemporary society.”

Born in Cuba and arriving in Miami as a child as part of Operation Pedro Pan, Brito is considered part of the “Miami Generation, a group of Cuban-born American artists who emerged in the later 1970s. Brito, a painter, sculptor and installation artist, is best known for intricate mixed-media constructions that embody narratives of displacement and loss.

“It is truly an honor for me to have this book written by an art historian of the reputation and caliber of Dr. Juan Martinez,” Brito said.

This is the second monograph penned by Martinez. His first, “Carlos Enriquez, the painter of Cuban ballads”, depicts the work of a controversial pre-Castro artist. Martinez will discuss his work on March 26 at 7 p.m. in the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr. in Miami Beach, as part of Arteaméricas.


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