Contemporary Cuban Artist Josignacio Sets Auction Record for Selling the Most Expensive Piece of Cuban Art in History

Arts and Entertainment

March 26, 2015

Artist Exhibits His Rare Collection for the First Time in 30 Years as President Obama Restores Cuba and U.S. Relations

MIAMI, FL - Contemporary Cuban Artist Josignacio, whose artwork has been sold as the most expensive piece by a living Cuban artist in an auction house and creator of Plastic Paint Medium, will be exhibiting his private collection to the public for the first time in 30 years. "Some of the pieces in this show were never intended to be seen by anyone, except for me. I'm excited to reveal them to the public. Life is about timing. And now is the time!", says Josignacio. The art exhibition of Josignacio is called "Cuban Art Revolution" at Macaya Gallery in Miami. This unique show is a retrospective of his art from 1984 to today, and promises to be one of the most important events in Miami's art scene. Along with pure "Cuban flavor," the reception will be enlivened by a live performance of the Luis Bofill Quartet and master cigar roller Alejandro Marquina. "Cuban Art Revolution".

This is a momentous occasion for Cuban and U.S. relations as President Obama ordered the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba and the opening of an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century as he vowed to "cut loose the shackles of the past" and sweep aside one of the last vestiges of the Cold War. As a well-known Cuban Artist, Josignacio is looking forward to the normalization of relations between his homeland and the U.S. while the art world rapidly focuses on contemporary Cuban artists.

This selection of Josignacio's paintings, furniture, sculptures, humidors, hand painted carpet and a colossal door will be a rare exhibit. Gallery owner Mr. Patrick Glemaud wanted to curate an art show with Josignacio, exhibiting what he is known for, until he came into the studio and "by accident" saw one of his latest pieces that was a sculpture. Mr. Glemaud recalls, "When I saw that piece, it completely changed the original concept of the entire exhibition, I was in front of an unknown Josignacio, a different one from the one I knew, I'm glad he accepted to have us curate a show with some of these amazing artworks at our gallery." After displaying the pieces, Mr. Daniel Stanford came up with a selection that he says: "...some (artwork) will be in the minds of spectators for years to come, some (artwork) they will never forget."
About Josignacio:
Josignacio (1963-) sets an auction selling record for any living Cuban, becoming the most expensive Cuban artist in history. "The Three Wisest Monkeys" 48 x 96 in., plastic paint medium on wood executed in 1991, sells at hammer price of $720,000 US Dollars at Pangaea Auctions House from Nevada, surpassing the $630,000 "Sweet Adagio in Solo Guitar" 96 x 48 inches dated 1994 also plastic paint medium on wood, according to Artprice®. Josignacio has officially made history by selling the most expensive painting ever at auction as a living Cuban artist. The artist sold both originals artworks to a collector from Las Vegas, NV back in 1994. And this specific piece, "The Three Wisest Monkeys" is part of the artworks that the artist says, "Never intended to be exhibited or seen by anyone other than me." A private collector purchased the pieces at auction in 2014, according to an art dealer, which requested not to be mentioned. Private collectors are now betting heavily on Josignacio's art relative to the Cuban arts movement that is currently on the rise. According to gallery owners and art dealers, "We believe that the one million dollars mark will be broken soon".
For years, Tomás Sánchez (1948-) hold that title and recently "Meditador y Laguna Escondida en el Bosque" oil on canvas measuring 98 x79 inches, dated 1995 sold for $540,000 hammer price, followed by Julio Larráz (1944-) with "Bingham at Noon" an oil on canvas 49 x 69 ¾, painted in 1993 sold for $270,000 USD. Keeping a good distance from the rest of the contemporaries such as Roberto Fabelo, Jose Bedia Valdez and Pedro Pablo Oliva to mention a few, topping hammer prices of $80,000, $60,000 and $40,000 respectively. The amazing part of the current Cuban arts movement is that all of these artists have been auctioning for more than twenty years, all but Josignacio, which unbelievably, his first public auction result ever was at the end of 2014. Currently, the most expensive artist in the world alive is Jeff Koons (1955-) but among Cuban artists, it is Josignacio.
About Josignacio's Plastic Paint Medium:
Plastic Paint Medium is a painting technique created by Artist Josignacio in Havana City, Cuba in 1984; this technique consists of the use of epoxy resins (any of a class of resins derived by polymerization from epoxies: used essentially in adhesives, coatings, and castings) as an "agglutinating medium" and "pigments" as colorants, obtaining as a result of a real plastic finish with a new visual effect. It has said is new because until that moment was almost impossible to obtain such shining, hardens, transparency, and real 3D effects with the conventional known mediums, this versatility put this medium in a stand alone status. Plastic Paint Medium it is not water based neither water-soluble, its drying or curing time is approximately six hours, depending on some factors such humidity, temperature, or amount of pigment added to mix. Plastic Paint Medium is very resistant to the corrosive effects of weathering and an excellent blocker against the devastating UV's rays. Similar effects can be obtained with newer generation of acrylic paintings for artists developed by Mark Golden that are unique in the ways in which the materials can be used in concert and in combination, making blending and application opportunities endless. One of the most serious investigators in the "Art techniques field", German artist and art theorist Max Doerner cited and predicted the use of Synthetic Resins as mediums for artists in his 1934 published book, "The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting".


"Ele Nussa expressed in an interview that he called this new visual effect "Newism", because there have been just a few artists in art history that have created something really new, something totally different from the rest and definitely Josignacio is one of those artists."

- Leonel Lopez-Nussa, art critic

"Josignacio is the artistic representative of the "Plastic Era."

- Dr. José Antonio Portuondo, renowned Cuban intellectual

"This new technique is the result of the marriage of art and technology...Josignacio is one of the abstract born artists, not the ones that are made."

- Dr. Kenworth W. Moffett, former director of Museum of Art of Fort Lauderdale

In 1996 at the 38th Annual Hortt Memorial Competition and Exhibition, Josignacio was awarded with "The Best in Show Award" for one of his "Dualism Series" paintings "The 3 O' clock". "I judged the work by the expressive power, the authenticity and intensity, and the formal and technical accomplishment that it conveyed."

- William C. Agee, professor of Art History of Hunter College, City University of New York

"Josignacio is a revolution inside the revolution."

- Gabriel García Márquez, Colombian writer for the Nobel Prize in Literature

"When I first stepped in front of Josignacio's painting, the strength of the colors, the shining of the resin and the dramatic forms, I really felt that I was struck by lightning."

- Waldo Rasmussen, director of The New York Museum of Modern Art's International Program

"Josignacio is a genuine artist. He constantly renews himself. It is absolutely impossible to ignore such beauty and perpetual intensity that are always present in his works. It is a pleasure to know him personally."

- Dolores C. Smithies, Sotheby's public relations and auctions consultant

"Josignacio's Dualism Series "The Key", "El Siete" and "The 3 O'clock" addresses the issues of duality on multiple levels with objects that become part of his artistic vocabulary and symbolic of the human quest for harmony through the reconciliation of opposites."

- Carol Damian, director and chief curator of the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University

Opening Reception - Thursday, April 2nd from 6 pm to 12 midnight.

Date: April 2nd through April 30th, 2015

Location: Macaya Gallery in Miami.

For media appearances and interviews, contact Susan Belfer at or 732.239.1559.