CAMAGUEY.- The cross is often associated as a religious symbol and with the pain of a selfless man who died crucified to save all human kind from their sins. The task of shouldering a cross makes reference to a hard mission that we must fulfill supported by an unshakeable faith. Raidel Ortega Vega immerses himself in a sacrifices and allegories maze that are behind the most sacred of our culture.

The Larios Gallery’s exhibition is a truss story that seeks the connection to the public through the author’s experience and his special way of expressing the homeland’s love. In order to materialize his works he uses wood, coins and ancient cuban bills as the essential elements, in addition, he integrates them with scrap metal shapes and figures.

Crosses represent a poetic idea in Ortega’s works, the historical synopsis of a people who chose the self-determination path despite the thistles and crown of thorns caused by the difficult route’s wounds. The cross reflects that space where Marti’s land becomes a fertile ground due to the effort and perseverance for a country’s reawakening.

Apart from the cross, the cuban flag is the other appellant symbol to the identity memory and to maintain the audience within the timeless context proyected by Raidel. More than a Gregorian song, more than a liturgical melody the contact with Vivir por ti, Esperanza y Aferrado recalls Alexander Abreu playing the National Anthem with his trumpet in his song Me dicen Cuba.

The work Espejo is one of the exhibition’s complements, which performs a kneeling man on a cross with his hands on both sides of the head. He has no face or color that allows us to identify him. It is precisely the public who is in charge of giving him that identity, filling that space with phrases, poems and dedications, task that makes the audience the main character and abettor of Raidel Ortega’s story.

  • Translated by Elizabeth Brinones Fonseca