Julio Larraz

It has been said that reality lies not in what is revealed, but rather in what is not, or can not, be revealed. Therein lies an immense appeal of the works of Havana-born artist, Julio Larraz.

Julio Larraz (b. 1944), son of a newspaper publisher, left Cuba in 1961 with his family for Miami and remained in the US in political exile. During the 1960s, his political caricatures appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune and others. Among his direct influences from 1964-1970 were Burt Silverman, David Levine, and Aaron Schikler. By 1967 Larraz worked full time as a painter.

Larraz’s jewel-toned oeuvre, though infused with autobiographical and political metaphors, exudes a sense of transcending the moment, the life lived, to achieve a certain monumentality in its conception and import. His work is rooted in early modern, European art traditions, including flirtations with Surrealism, but this preeminent Latin American artist’s vision, and particularly his Caribbean visual abstractions, are uniquely his own. Often his images convey an aura of mystery, strangeness — perhaps of a concealed, lurking danger. His works share an affinity with the Canadian, Alex Colville, and the American, Edward Hopper. But, the multi-dimensional visual poetry of Julio Larraz challenges, stimulates and gratifies unlike any other.

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