Tony Lopez A Legend in Cuban Sculpture Dies at Age 92

An icon in the history of Cuban artists Tony Lopez left us this morning at age 92.  For me, this is a person who has been part of my life since I was born. He was one of my parents best friends, and as a kid, we always saw each other every week at the beach.  As I rediscovered photography 13 years ago, I made a point to visit Tony and photograph him.  I've put those photos in the above slideshow.  I've also been lucky to have had my bust as a child sculpted by Tony and you can find that in the slideshow and in my Flickr gallery.  Tony was always there for Thanksgiving and Xmas Eve at my moms. Of course that ended when my mom passed away in December 2008.  But those memories will always remain in my memory. (In the slideshow, I've included a pic of him with my parents in the early sixties with a pic of myself as a young todler).   I'm sure he's having a great time with my parents in the other world catching up on things and hearing all of Tony's latest jokes. No one could tell a joke as well as he could. I'll sure miss them.

There's a good write up on his life here in Spanish.  From his Bio:

Born in Cuba in the early 1920s, Tony Lopez was exposed to the art of sculpture since the beginning. His father and grandfather were both sculptors and Tony spent much time modeling clay.

"I can't remember which came first to me, crawling or drawing, When I was in school, art was my favorite subject and I excelled in it." Tony Lopez smiled mischievously, "My father couldn't keep me away from his studio. Many times he would tell me to go and play ball with the other kids."

Tony's father was a sculptor, and little Tony learned to shape clay and carve, while others his age were learning the alphabet. By the time he was a teenager, he was quite skilled in what was to be his profession. His father died while working on a commissioned monument, which was finished by the eighteen-year old Tony.

He has sculpted all his life. "There is nothing else I want to do; sculpture is my only means of expression. It is my passion in life."

"I have never followed one school of sculpting or sculpting trend. In politics and philosophy as well, I cannot align myself with one discipline. There is good and bad in everything."

An abstract expressionist, Lopez' works are soft, rounded and sinuous. Wavelike swellings ripple within the works. Strong and tender, almost vibrant with emotion, they reflect the intensity of the artist. "When working the feeling is ecstatic, it is almost indescribable."

In 1958, he and his family fleed Cuba's revolution and came to live in the USA.

"The most important thing is to be free... to express yourself. Although the environment helps to determine the creative process, the evolution my work has undergone was inevitable."

For the last forty-four years, his Miami studio has become more than a place of work. Other artists often worked there, while visiting the Untied States, "I delight in lending a helping had to these sculptors who otherwise would be unable to pursue their creative talents in this country."

Tony Lopez sculptures can be seen around the world. He has exhibited in galleries from to the Museum of Modern Art in Washington DC to Rockerfeller Center in New York City to the homes and business of private collectors around the world.

Historical landmarks include:
Holocaust Memorial - Miami Beach, Florida
The Torch of Friendship - Miami, Florida
St. Mary's Cathedral - Miami, Florida
Governor Boden Monument - Grand Cayman
Jose Martí - New Orleans, Louisiana

I'm On the Pier to Nowhere

Sunrise, 8/7/11, Sunny Isles, Florida

Cool Off With Some Pacific Northwest Waterfalls from Oregon

Oregon is a waterfall wonderland. I was only able to scratch the surface while there.  Hopefully this video and photo montage will give you a taste of what is known as the Waterfall Wonderland. During the dog days of summer,  the falls will definitely cool you off.