Notes: A challenging Cuban artist's book inspired by poems from a feminist writer from Matanzas. The cover includes a naked female doll, described on the colophon as a socialist Barbie made in China ("una barbie socialista realizada en China").
The poems, in Spanish and English translation, address sexuality and menstruation, with related illustrations by the late, great Cuban book artist Rolando Estévez (1953–2023), including a recreation of a used menstrual pad. The text pages, photocopied on white paper, are all stained, according to the colophon, with the "sangre de una mujer desconocida" [blood of an unknown woman]. Your cataloguer double-checked with the artist when he was alive and confirmed that was a metaphorical, not literal, description of the materials used.
"En la realización de esta edición se has usado: papel blanco, craff, ecológico y otros de diversa procedencia, cartulina blanca, cartón, algodón, celofán, una barbie socialista realizada en China, así como sangre de una mujer desconocida encontrada a las puertas del Policlínico de Versalles en Bellamar, Cuba, siendo el día 3 de mayo de 2015" ["For this book production we have used: white, Kraft, recycled, and others papers of diverse origin; white cardstock; cardboard, cotton, cellophane, a socialist Barbie made in China, as well as the blood of an unknown woman found at the doors of the Versailles Community Health Center in Bellamar, Cuba, on May 3, 2015."]—Colophon.
"Un libro-arte de Estévez hecho a corazon y mano" ["An artist book by Estévez made with heart and hand."]—Last page. Estévez was for many years the artistic director of the acclaimed artist book publisher Ediciones Vigía in Matanzas, Cuba. In the final years of his life, he left the Vigía cooperative and began making small editions of more elaborate books under the imprint Ediciones El Fortín. Body Art is probably the most challenging book he ever produced.
19 pages. 7-1/4 by 9-3/4 inches. One of 50 copies. Colección Puente de Hierro.
Edition + Condition: Fine.
Publication: Bellamar, Matanzas, Cuba: Ediciones El Fortín, 2015.
Item No: #362964