Ángel Acosta León
(b. Havana, 1930 - d. Havana, 1964)
Ángel Acosta León graduated from the San Alejandro School of Fine Arts in 1957. Two years later, his painting Familia en la ventana (Family in the Window) marked his break with the academy and was awarded a prize at the Salon of Painting and Sculpture. His style is heavily inspired by Surrealism, and expresses the pain and struggle he experienced through much of his life. Animal, human and mechanical imagery abound in his paintings, which incorporate elements of the Cuban reality such as coffee makers, cane-liquor bars, tractors, palm trees, toys, anvils. In 1961 León began to incorporate themes and imagery from events surrounding the Cuban Revolution into his work. In 1963 he travelled throughout Europe, exhibiting his work in major galleries in Paris, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Brussels alongside Roberto Matta and Yves Tanguy. He received various awards at national painting salons and poster contests, such as the II Inter-American Art Biennial in Mexico, 1960. He drowned at sea returning to Cuba in 1964.