José Bedia, Júbilo de Aponte / Aponte's Jubilation, 2018
The prominent Cuban-American painter José Bedia has been appointed as a Visiting Artist under the Félix González-Torres Community Art Project at Florida International University. The main purpose of this project is to bring cutting-edge artists to campus to expose both students and members of the local community to artistic excellence. The project was established to commemorate the life and work of Cuban-American artist Félix González-Torres (1957–1996), one of the leading conceptual artists of the twentieth century. Funding for this project has been generously provided by the Félix González-Torres Foundation, based in New York.
Bedia's visit will be organized by the Cuban Research Institute, with the collaboration of FIU's Department of Art + Art History and the Frost Art Museum, during the first week of March 2020. The program will consist of three main activities:
- A panel discussion of Bedia's work, open to all FIU students, faculty, staff, and members of the community
- A three-day master class open to all FIU art students, a unique opportunity to learn from an established professional artist
- Studio visits and critiques of undergraduate and graduate students' work, where students will benefit from Bedia's expertise and experience with the process of artistic creation
José Bedia is one of the leading members of his artistic generation in Cuba, initially known as Grupo Volumen I. Born in Havana, Cuba, in 1959, Bedia studied at the San Alejandro School of Fine Arts and then finished his art studies at the Higher Institute of Art in Havana. He moved to Mexico in 1991 and then to Miami in 1993, where he now lives and works. Bedia's work is deeply rooted in Afro-Cuban traditions. As an initiated practitioner in Regla de Congo, a group of religions brought to Cuba by West African slaves, Bedia is imbued with his spiritual beliefs and exhibits a close affinity to the tribal African art that he studies and collects.