b. December 15th, 1944, Havana Cuba

Manuel Mendive is an eminent Afro-Cuban painter, sculptor, and performance artist. His colorful, evocative paintings and carvings—as well as his dynamic performance and body art—pay tribute to the historic and religious art forms of Africa and Cuba. Altars, masks, and dance associated with Santería, Voodoo, and Yoruba religions have inspired his work, which brings a contemporary insight into the history of slavery and African mythologies as they transformed the Caribbean Islands. Oya (1967) and Slave Ship (1976) exemplify the artist’s primitive, minimalistic, powerful synthesis of mythology, religion, and history. Born on December 15, 1944 in Havana, Cuba, Mendive studied at the San Alejandro Academy of Plastic Arts in Havana. In the 1970s, the artist gained recognition for his unique combination of European and African styles in promoting Afro-Cuban culture. His works are in the collections of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, and the Ethnographic Museum of Budapest, among others. The artist lives and works in San Jose de la Lagas, Cuba.