ARTIST PROFILE Cruz Enrique España 1950-2020
ARTIST PROFILE – CRUZ ENRIQUE ESPAÑA
* photographs courtesy of Familia España Moreira
Maestro Cruz Enrique España was born on July 16th 1950 into an artisan family from San Felipe de Jesús, La Antigua Guatemala. As a self-taught artist he became independent from his father’s workshop and started his own at the age of 20.
Ceramics craft was an expensive investment with little remuneration. Contemplating his options he decided to dedicate all his time and effort creating colorful, original and innovative designs that would set his work apart. And it surely did.
Once he achieved this goal Maestro España held his first art exhibition in 1981 at the Centro de Estudios Folklóricos/San Carlos University, where he was recognized as a “Maestro” (master) in his own craft. After that, invitations from across the world came began pouring in. With artwork in tow, he was hosted in the United States, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Germany, Italy, Colombia, and México.
Though he may have been defined by his art, he was also a neighbor who was concerned for his own people and culture which led him to be recognized twice as a distinguished Antigueño.
He also worked for his community as the president of cultural and religious associations, he at one point in his life he was also assistant mayor in his own village San Felipe de Jesús.
He was famous for his beautiful hand-crafted painted ceramic birds, but soon, as he mastered his technique, he began to explore other themes.
Within his most recognized artistic collections, we can mention:
“Personajes de la tradición oral Guatemalteca”: in which he sculpted famous characters from Guatemalan ghost legends such as: La llorona and el Sombrerón.
“La vida y obra del Santo Hermano Pedro” illustrating through his sculptures, the life and miracles of the first Guatemalan Saint. Santo Hermano Pedro.
And “La gente de mi ciudad I, II, III and IV” where he portrayed through ceramics, well-known Antigüeños.
Maestro Cruz Enrique España, passed away on November 13th 2020 at 3:00 pm but certainly, he will be remembered as one of the most beloved and true artists in La Antigua Guatemala.
His workshop“Casa del Arte Popular” is open to the public at Calle Real (past the National Hospital) San Felipe de Jesús, zone 1 #58, Monday – Sunday 9:00am – 6:00pm.
His widow María Josefina Moreira de España along with his son Pablo Enrique España carry on his legacy, also his daughter Lorena España has a ceramics workshop of her own. Rest in Peace Maestro.
REVUE magazine article by Hadazul Cruz