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One of Cuba's Greatest Exponents of Naïf Painting, Ruperto Jay Matamoros, has Died.
Matamoros, a National Plastic Arts laureate and National Visual Arts Prize in 2000, was buried in his home town of San Luis, in eastern Santiago de Cuba, where he was born on March 12, 1912.

From a very early age Matamoros became interested in reflecting what he saw on canvas: the local landscape, the flora and fauna, the people that lived in the countryside and popular imagery.

The painter participated in the unusual adventure known as the Free Studies on Painting and Sculpture where he received some technical training. Founded in 1938 by Eduardo Abela, Rita Longa, Rene Portocarrero and Domingo Ravenet, it was an attempt to democratize artistic teaching under the pseudo-Republic.

However, Jays talent really developed in his spare time, after finishing his duties as a driver, dauber, plumber, gardener, messenger, and interior decorator. One of Cubas aristocrats, Maria Luisa Gomez Mena, exerted her patronage and placed some of his paintings in certain circuits.

But the truth is that the value of Jays paintings grew immensely after 1959, when popular painting gained in importance, reads the article in Granma newspaper.

Among the shows that catapulted him to fame were the exhibition of watercolors and sculptures shown at the Ministry of Justice in 1964; the prize he obtained that year at the National Museum of Fine Arts; the personal exhibition of his works at the Havana Gallery in 1965, and the successful emergence of his paintings at the 2nd Triennial of Naif Art in Bratislava and the Grenoble Biennial (France) in 1969.


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