Exhibition of Zarza. Experimental shop of the Graphic of Havana, Chorro alley, Cathedral square, Old Havana. October 20, 2017
For several decades Zarza has been working on a proposal that advocates political and social commitment. In order to do this he has always used, among other elements, a leitmotiv of great expressive force and interesting semantic charge: the image of the bull. In his last personal exhibition that bovid -and its feminine counterpart- emerges in dissimilar ways: in all its virile ferocity, like a voluptuous maja -a very clear homage to Goya, whose effigy appears in another of the works on display- and beheaded -but not defeated, as could be interpreted from the enigmatic smile that, as a challenge, sketches the skull and the phrase of the mythical poet François Villon. The audacity that has always characterized this illustrious engraver, rather than patenting itself in the emotiveness of the drawing, becomes perceptible in the presentation of those engravings that, although preserved by the artists, are not usually exhibited. These are the so-called "Cancellation Tests", pieces marked by an X or other sign to determine the end of an edition. The exhibition was inaugurated on the day of Cuban culture, I could not fail to reverence it; so it appeals, as an identity reference, to the great Fernando Ortiz, to the packets of tobacco and to the buccaneer beer. Humour and irony, two strategies inherent to his artistic work, are equally present, especially in a piece that, in the manner of bovine cartography, presents parts of the beef that are practically unknown to the younger generations of Cubans.