Cuban personalities and cultural institutions lamented the death this Thursday, at the age of 87, of Matanzas artist Agustín Drake, “essential creator of the visual arts.”
“Today we deeply regret the physical departure of the sculptor Agustín Drake, an essential creator of visual arts in Cuba and the world. Creator of an oneiric world, of strange creatures that seem to come from remote ages and that merge with his deep beliefs, which have given the artist a distinctive stamp that denotes his high creativity”, published the National Council of Plastic Arts (CNAP ).
The teacher of Matanzas Plastic Arts Agustín Drake Aldama has passed away.
Since the 1960s, he has assumed various responsibilities in artistic education, at the Heritage Center, and was one of the founders of CODEMA. He participated in the UNEAC Congress in 1961. pic.twitter.com/7RNBVBCxT5
– Matanzas culture (@Cult_matancera) August 4, 2022
Sculptor, potter, painter, draftsman, graphic designer and teacher, Drake lived and worked in Matanzas until the last moment.
From that city, the newspaper Giron he remembered him as “the sculptor of stone, vegetable fibers, wood, forgotten things, the wind and the word; as a complete artist with knowledge of ethnology, anthropology and religion». Several of his environmental sculptures are located in different parts of the country and, the CNAP points out, he is a benchmark for metal work in the country.
According to the note of said Instance of Culture, the artist deserved the UNESCO Prize in 1997, as well as other distinctions throughout his career. He was nominated on several occasions for the National Prize for Plastic Arts and in Matanzas he obtained the Provincial Prize for his life’s work in 2007 and the status of Master Emeritus.
Born in 1934, in Sabanilla (Juan Gualberto Gómez), Unión de Reyes municipality, Drake graduated from the Provincial School of Plastic Arts of Matanzas in 1953. There he worked as a professor of sculpture and modeling and was also its director.
He came to serve as director of Cultural Heritage of Matanzas, where he was also a Founding Member of UNEAC, of the Cuban Association of Artisan Artists (ACCA) and President of the Provincial Commission for the Development of Monumental and Environmental Sculpture (CODEMA).
After the homage at the Pedro Esquerré Provincial Gallery in Matanzas, fulfilling his last wish, his body was cremated and his ashes scattered in his native Sabanilla and in the Bay of Matanzas.