Julio Larraz

b.1944

Julio Larraz

Born in La Havana, Cuba, in 1944, Julio Larraz is both a Cuban artist and an American artist. His father, a political activist and student, was imprisoned for three years at the Isle of Pines by the Machado regime. He later became owner and editor of a pro-independence newspaper in Havana, “La discusion”. His mother, a law student, became the director of that same newspaper. In 1959 Fidel Castro’s regime took control of Cuba. Free Press was extinguished immediately, and the family realized that they would have to seek asylum in the United States. Julio Larraz was sixteen years old.

The experience of being forced into exile and leaving his childhood home in Cuba had a profound effect on Larraz’s life and art. Soon after arriving in the United States, he began to draw political caricatures that were published by the New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Time, Ramparts, Newsweek, and The Chicago Tribune. The politics that forced him out of the country that he loved, carved and molded the political undertones of his work. His technique was honed and sharpened by the animosity he felt and from that struggle emerged one of the world’s greatest painters.

Since leaving Cuba, Larraz has lived and worked primarily in the United States. Living in New York from 1961-1986. During this period, he received several awards from Center for the Arts and Education, FACE, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, The National Institute of Arts and Letters, and Instituto de EducacioĢn Internacional. As his career flourished his travels took him all over the world. Living in France, and Italy for several years. In 2004 Larraz returned to Miami where he lives today.

Larraz’s work combines the refined skills of a draftsman, the narrative of a great storyteller, and the surreal distortion of a magician. His work is generated from images that appear in his mind. “They are like a dream, when you try to describe what you dreamt to someone, they become smoke before you finish the sentence. That is why I do fast sketches to capture them before they disappear.”

© photo: juliolarraz.com 

Available artworks

Julio Larraz, Aboukir, Captain's Quarters, 2018
Julio Larraz, After the Storm, 2016
Julio Larraz, Incoming Fog from The Sea, 2016
Julio Larraz, Ognissanti, 2017
Julio Larraz, The Poet King in the Wilderness, 2009
Julio Larraz, Gravitas, 2007