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The press release refers to the first exhibition of the work of Venezuelan artist Gabriel Bracho at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas. The opening featured a large crowd from various segments of society. It reviews the great success in support and in the sale of the majority of the works (forty-eight in total) at very high prices. It states that although he started painting in 1935, it has been only six years since he has fully dedicated himself to painting; prior to that he spent time doing other jobs, such as teaching and working as a laborer with ceramics in the city of New York. It references the cities where Bracho has exhibited his work. In the interview, there are also rave reviews by other Venezuelan artists (Luis Luksic, César Rengifo, Julio César Rovaina, and Pedro León Castro), praising his themes and social commitment. In the interview, Bracho expresses his desire to soon exhibit his work in Maracaibo, and also in the oil region of Zulia. In addition, Bracho considers the possibility of creating a popular visual arts workshop focused on engraving and mural painting to “help develop the social culture of the Venezuelan people.”
Gabriel Bracho’s (1915-95) realized his aspirations of introducing his art to the province. The exhibition itinerary was Maracaibo and Cabimas in the state of Zulia, as well as at Barquisimeto and Valencia, owing to the committed support of the intellectual leaders and activists in each region. Similarly, as discussed in the interview, his desire to create a workshop of popular art also came to fruition. Because of this, years later, in 1958, Bracho founded the workshop Taller de Arte Realista (active through 1969) in partnership with Jorge Arteaga, Claudio Cedeño, Julio César Rovaina, Rafael Ramón González, Sócrates Escalona, José Domingo Márquez, José Antonio Dávila, Nicolás Piquer, and Antonio Rodríguez Llamosas, among other committed artists of his generation. These activities demonstrated Bracho’s militant and committed spirit; an attitude that was manifested by goals both political and aesthetic, as well as the need to promote and project his own ideological and political ideology. The Taller de Arte Realista was linked to an antecedent group named “Grupo Paracotos” (around 1955). This group addressed the political and artistic turmoil that confronted the dictatorial regime of General Marcos Pérez Jiménez (1952-58) taking place in parts of the province at that time. The Taller de Arte Realista was an advocate for the generational belligerent attitude of social realism happening at the time in Venezuela. On a different note, the favorable comments on his exhibition, collected from the interviews conducted on the opening day at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas (by Luis Luksic, César Rengifo, Julio César Rovaina, and Pedro León Castro) can be seen in the context of a left-wing militancy (and in their commitment and identification with the realist aesthetics).
[Regarding the work by Bracho, see in the ICAA digital archive the essay by Pedro Lobos “Semblanzas de nuestros días en la pintura de Gabriel Bracho” (doc. no. 1080662); the essay by Juan Liscano “Gabriel Bracho” (doc. no. 850217); the essay by Héctor Mujica “Excelencias de un pintor comprometido” (doc. no. 845986); the article by Guillermo Alfredo Cook “Bracho sacrifica lo más caro a todo artista: la Libertad” (doc. no. 850751); the review by the journalist Enrique Buenaventura “La pintura de Gabriel Bracho” (doc. no. 1074240); and by Manuel García Hernández “El mensaje de Gabriel Bracho es neo-americano: cartas de Buenos Aires” (doc. no. 1101870)].