Friday, April 8, 2011

Last of the great surrealists, Cuban painter Jorge Camacho, dies in Paris

Jorge Camacho
Cuban surrealist painter Jorge Camacho died in Paris on 30 March at age 77 after a long illness.

Spain’s El País newspaper on 6 April called him the last of the great surrealist painters ("...el último gran pintor surrealista").

“Everybody talks about surrealism, but it is only understood by very few people,” he once said, a quotation that followed him to the grave and into Wikipedia.

Born Jorge R. Camacho Lazo in Havana in 1934, he abandoned law school in 1952.
Jorge Camacho

Inspired by Paul Gauguin, who left his business, a wife and two children in Paris for painter´s palettes and brown Caribbean women, Camacho discovered Paris and André Breton in 1959, a life-changing bond.

His comradeship with Breton triggered Camacho joining the surrealist movement.

Influenced by his Mexican experiences with Diego Rivera, Ruifino Tamayo, Carlos Mérida, Wilfredo Lam and later by Joan Miró, Camacho gained prominence.

In 1967, he returned to Cuba for the Salón de Mayo de Paris en La Habana show. His works sidled up to paintings by Picasso and Lam.

That was his last time in Cuba.

Jorge Camacho

Harboring a strong passion for Andalusia, Spain, Camacho shared his time between Seville and Paris.

When Fidel Castro clamped down on artists and intellectuals, Camacho in 1988, joined by others, wrote a letter to Castro urging free elections.

The leader of the revolution reacted by banning Camacho´s paintings, part of a permanent collection, at Cuba´s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana.

According to El País, the Cuban maestro also was a designer, engraver, poet and photographer. Camacho also loved literature and music.

If you´re a painter, you will love this 11-minute YouTube video of Camacho taking you through one of his paintings, almost brush stroke by brush stroke. Good fun and informative, too. I plan seeing it again and again, transfixing.

Jorge Camacho
Rock on and practice peace and love.
Stefan, the ArtTraveler (TM)

Consider a week-long mosaics or sculpture workshop in our Andalusia mountains, or a walking holiday. See: and

Contact me at or call (34) 951 067 703; from the UK at BT landline rates, 0844 774 8349.
Jorge Camacho

1 comment:

  1. this was so helpful for my Caribbean Art Research Paper thanks so much!