Juan Boza Sánchez
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|Juan Boza Sánchez|
|Died||March 5, 1991
New York City, New York
Juan Boza Sánchez or Juan Stopper Sanchez (1941 in Camagüey, Cuba – March 5, 1991 in New York City, New York) was a gay Afro-Cuban-American artist specializing at painting, drawing, engraving, installation and graphic design.
Boza studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes “San Alejandro” from 1960 to 1962 and then from 1962 to 1964 at the Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA) both located in Havana, Cuba. He was expelled from San Alejandro due to "political issues" and became a lithographer with the Experimental Graphic Workshop in 1965.
Boza was fired as a result of the Congress of Education and Culture which convened in 1971 and led to the censorship of many artists in Cuba. In the years between 1971 and his exodus from Cuba in 1980 Boza restored religious statues to earn a living.
In 1980 Juan Boza managed to escape Cuba to New York via the Mariel boatlift. Boza described New York as a "tremendous shock" and upon arriving in New York "had to re-build Juan Boza from scratch." Boza began developing an Afro-Cuban theme that he realized was part of his culture after leaving Cuba, as well as his participation in the Santeria (also known as Lukumí) religion. According to Jaun Boza, "There is no distinction between my faith and my aesthetics." He lived in New York City from 1980, when he arrived during the Mariel boatlift until his death, at Brooklyn Memorial Hospital, working at the Printmaking Workshop, the Lower Eastside Printshop and the Art Student League.
In 1964, Sanchez presented a personal exhibition in the Galería Provincial de Camagüey in Cuba. Four years later, he created "Stopper: Gouaches, Drawings and Lithographies," shown at the Gallery of Havana. In 1983, Sanchez exhibited "Juan Stopper: Black Mysticism" at the Latin Inter-American Gallery in New York. In 1984, his art was exhibited at the Museum of African Americans in Buffalo, New York. In 1990, he presented "Juan Boza's World" at the Ollantay Gallery in New York.
Sanchez also participated in many collective exhibits. He first group showing was in the 1960 Freedom for Siqueiros at the Seguro Médico Building in Havana. In 1970, he exhibited pieces in Salón 70 at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana; in 25 Latin American Engravings at the Gallery Pablo Picasso in Mexico; and in the Fourth American Biennial of the Engraving in Santiago, Chile. In 1975, he participated in the Ninth International Print Biennial at the Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, Japan. In 1983, he appeared in the Sixth Biennial of Latin American Engraving" at the Navy Arsenal in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1984, he appeared in the Third Latin American Graphic Art Biennial.
- 1964 - Galería Provincial de Camagüey, Cuba.
- 1968 - "Boza. Gouaches, dibujos y Litografías", Galería de La Habana, Havana, Cuba
- 1983 - "Juan Boza. Black Mysticism", Inter-Latin American Gallery, New York City.
- 1984 - Museum of African Americans, Buffalo, New York.
- 1990 - "Juan Boza's World" in Ollantay Gallery, New York City.
- 1991 - Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois.
- 1960 - "Libertad para Siqueiros", Edificio Seguro Médico, Havana, Cuba.
- 1970 - "Salón 70", Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana, Havana, Cuba.
- 1970 - "25 Grabados Latinoamericanos", Galería Pablo Picasso, Mexico City, Mexico
- 1970 - IV Bienal Americana del Grabado, Santiago de Chile, Chile.
- 1975 - 9th International Print Biennial, Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan.
- 1983 - Sexta Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano, Arsenal de la Marina, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- 1984 - Third Latin American Graphic Art Biennial
- 1966 Exhibición Nacional de la Habana
- 1967 - Premio Portinari en Litografía - "Exposición de La Habana 1967", Galería Latinoamericana, Casa de las Américas (Havana), Havana, Cuba.
- 1968 - Premio - "Salón Nacional de Dibujo 1967", Galería de La Habana, Havana, Cuba.
- 1981 Jerome Foundation, New York
- 1983 - Cintas for Art - Cintas Foundation Fellowship, New York City.
- 1983 - Award in Drawing from the Jaun Miro Foundation in Barcelona, Spain
- 1985 - Cintas for Art - Cintas Foundation Fellowship, New York City.
- 2003 - The Judith Rothschild Foundation Grant Recipient
His work is in a number of collections: the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in London, UK; the Casa de las Américas in Havana, Cuba; the Tapes Inc. Foundation in New York, U.S.A; the Museum of the Independent University of Mexico in Mexico City; and the 'Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana.
- British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Collection, London, United Kingdom.
- Casa de las Américas (Havana) Cuba.
- Cintas Foundation Inc, New York City.
- Jose Veigas-Zamora, Cristina Vives Gutierrez, Adolfo V. Nodal, Valia Garzon, Dannys Montes de Oca; Memoria: Cuban Art of the 20th Century; (California/International Arts Foundation 2001); ISBN 978-0-917571-11-4
- Jose Viegas; Memoria: Artes Visuales Cubanas Del Siglo Xx; (California International Arts 2004); ISBN 978-0-917571-12-1 (in Spanish)
- The Miami Herald, JUAN BOZA CUBAN PAINTER, March 7, 1991
- Randy P. Conner & David Hatfield Sparks, Queering Creole Spiritual Traditions: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Participation in African Inspired Traditions in the Americas; (Haworth Press, Binghamton, New York, 2004); ISBN 1-56023-351-6
- Ed. Fuentes-Perez, Ileana et al. Outside Cuba: Contemporary Cuban Visual Artists; 1989. ISBN 0-935501-13-4
- Miller, Ivor. 1995. “Belief and Power in Contemporary Cuba: The Dialogue Between Santería Practitioners and Revolutionary Leaders.” Ph.D. dissertation. Northwestern University. (chapter four)
- Miller, Ivor. 2009. "Voice of the Leopard: African Secret Societies and Cuba." UP of Mississippi. (Introduction)