Smithsonian Portrait Gallery: Alexis Rodriguez Duarte, Humberto Tico Torres Add Cuban Pieces To Art Collection

Art Basel
A view of artwork during the Art Basel Miami Beach Vernissage at the Miami Beach Convention Center on December 1, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida Getty Images

Miami Art Basel is an exciting time for many art lovers to take in new pieces and network with many art connoisseurs. While getting your hands on exclusice artwork is next to an impossible without a connect, Cuban-born photographer Alexis Rodriguez Duarte and art director Humberto Tico Torres have struck gold.

According to FOX News Latino, Rodriguez-Duarte and Torres, are thrilled about the many new portraits they’re adding to their existing permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.

Currently, the pair has 18 limited edition portraits from their “Cuba Out of Cuba” series and what the National Portrait Gallery calls the iconic photograph of Celia Cruz , “¡Yo soy de Cuba la voz - Guantanamera!” from the cover of their book, “Presenting Celia Cruz.”

“We had Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and Nuyorican portraits, but there is this whole impulse of documenting one’s own community and Alexis and Tico’s work systematically honors the Cuban- American community,” Associate Curator of Latino Art and History at the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian, Taína B. Caragol, told Fox News.com.

The site reports that Rodríguez-Duarte and Torres began the “Cuba Out of Cuba” portrait series in 1994 after they were commissioned for a shoot for Art & Antiques magazine featuring Cuban artists living in the United States. They have been working together for nearly 34 years. The two got their start in the 80s working with photographer Bruce Webber on the Obsession perfume campaign for designer Calvin Klein.

“That campaign really put South Beach and Miami on the map," Torres told Fox News.com. "Webber was a pioneer and he was the person who encouraged us to expand on the idea of shooting Cuban-Americans,” Rodriguez-Duarte said.

After realizing that the Cuban culture was dying out in the Unites States, the duo wanted to come together and showcase their culture with the world renowed Smithsonian Gallery.

 

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