Cartoonist, plastic artist, painter, potter
Manuel Hernandez Valdez was born in Limonar, Matanzas, Cuba, on 2 January, 1943. In 1961, he studied at the Tarasco Academy of Plastic Arts in his province. He began to take his first steps in painting, but caricature was something marginal for him, during the 12 years he lived in the countryside, he began to draw; it was in military service that he came close to caricature.
“Al Combate!” it was there that he published his first drawing, which was an illustration. Later, he worked for a long time as a freelance employee of this newspaper in Matanzas and was engaged in the creation of a military cartoon. When he finished his military service, he was offered a job as a cartoonist in Havana, and he began to enter the world of drawing. He drew in almost every publication.
He worked at Granma from 1991 to 1993, devoting himself to political cartoons; his works have been published in 11 publications, including: “Bohemia”, “el habanero”, “Juventud Rebelde”, “el Dedeté” and “Palante”. He is currently doing a weekly cartoon for the newspaper “Girón” of the province of Matanzas. For several years he returned to his old work of painting, despite the large number of cartoons, it bears the imprint of the Cuban landscape, its characters and vegetation, his palette is saturated with bright red, orange, green and yellow colors, almost always with blue peeking through the leaves.
Awards and distinctions:
- 1974 First Prize at the Latin American Plastic Meeting.
- 1974 First Prize in the Chess Humor Contest.
- 1975 Mention at the International Salon “To be or not to be”, Warsaw, Poland.
- 1975 Mention at the II International Biennial of Humor and Satire in Art, Gágrovo, Bulgaria, among the hundred best cartoonists in the world.
- 1978 Mention at the World Humor Show, Knokke-Heist, Belgium.
- 1978 Prize at the UNEAC Plastic Arts Hall.
- 1979 Special Prize at the International Biennial of Humor.
- 1980 Special Prize at the III World Cartoon Exhibition, West Berlin.
- 1981 Second Prize in political satire at the II International Biennial of Humor.
- 1982 Fifth Prize at the International Cartoon Show “El Mundo por la paz”, Mexico.
- 1983 Special Prizes at the III International Biennial of Humor and Grand Prize “Esopo de Oro” at the International Biennial of Humor and Satire in Art, Bulgaria.
- 1984 Receives the “Félix Elmuza” medal, the highest distinction granted by the Union of Journalists of Cuba (UPEC) for outstanding work in journalism.
- 1985 The humorous supplement Dedeté wins the prize for the best satirical publication in the world at the annual event held in the Forte dei Marmi district of Lucca, Italy.
- 1985 Integrates the Anthology of the Best Humorists in the world. Bokforlaget brabocker ab, Sweden.
- 1985 Gold Medal at the VI International Biennial of Humor, Cuba.
- 1989 Special Award. Theme: Exile Germany.
- 1995 Jean Effel Prize. IX International Biennial of Humor. San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba.
- 1997 Illustrious Son of the City of Matanzas is proclaimed. Cuba.
- 1997 Pablo Picasso Medal awarded by the UNESCO World Council. FIART’97.
- 1997 Collective exhibition in Panama.
- 1997 National Painting Salon International Hotel Varadero.
- 2006 National Humor Award
Most important collections:
- National Museum, Palace of Fine Arts, City of Havana, Cuba.
- Ceramic Museum, Castillo de la Fuerza, City of Havana, Cuba.
- Museum of Humor and Satire, Gágrobo, Bulgaria.
- Museum of Caricature, Varsovia, Polonia.
- Foundation Danielle Mitterand, Paris, France.
- Geraldine Chaplin private collection.
- Private collection of Mario Benedetti.
- He has participated in Salons de Humor and group shows in Belgium, Germany, USA, France, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, London, Poland, Russia, Venezuela, Bulgaria and Japan.
Reference: ecured.cu, 2006