'...We are always accompanied, by the ancestors, by the gods. For memories, for poetry'1

Considered one of the most important Cuban artists, Manuel Mendive was born on December 15, 1944 in Luyanó, Cuba.2

Studying the work of Manuel Mendive requires understanding his cultural background and the political and social environment in which he emerges as an artist. He graduated from the San Alejandro academy in 1963, Mendive was born in the family of a practicing Santeria and despite an environment that is not conducive to the theme of his work, remains faithful to his origins and is dedicated to explore the magical dimension of man through a variety of techniques on multiple supports.2

Mendive's works in the 1960s explored the mystery of creation with images of the orishas of the Yoruba pantheon as the protagonists. Already in the 70s he began to represent scenes of everyday life but kept in the same representations of these deities. His drawings, paintings, body art, sculptures and performances, in which he integrates free choreographies with rhythmic music.5

Manuel Mendive's first solo exhibition took place at the Havana Art Center in 1964 and since then his work has been exhibited in some of the most important art centers in the world, such as the XLII Biennial of Venice in 1968, when the pavilion Cuban was completely dedicated to showing his work. His work is represented in the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, the Musee d'Art Moderne in Paris, as well as museums in Russia, Somalia, Congo, Norway, Denmark, Finland and the United States, among others.3

He has received numerous prizes, including the National Prize for the Arts of Cuba (2001) and the Adam Montparnasse Prize at the Salon de Mai exhibition in Paris in 1968, the Order Knight of the Arts and Letters of the Ministry of Culture and Francophony of the Republic of France, and the Felix Varela Order of the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba.7



1Artist Focus- Manuel Mendive

2 Manuel Mendive

3 Manuel Mendive

4 Guillermina Ramos Cruz. 'Lam y Mendive'
Linkgua S.L. 1 de abril de 2009

Manuel Mendive

6 Manuel Mendive

7 Manuel Mendive