Pedro el Grande (Peter the Great)

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, California
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Although Esterio Segura studied sculpture, he works in many mediums including drawing, painting, film and photography. Despite the negative social climate that led many fellow artists to depart Cuba, Segura chose to remain in his home country where he uses iconic images from mythology, history and religious art to project witty political messages and parodic questions about Cuban history. In the present work, Segura portrays Peter the Great conquering Cuba, depicting him as a Communist symbol riding a regal horse. Segura reminds viewers of Peter’s successful Tsardom and his cultural revolution that replaced the previous socio-political system with a modern, westernized version based on the Enlightment, converting Russia into a major European power. Ironically, Russia and Cuba today symbolize Communism, whose leaders led successful revolutions that replaced the old socio-political systems with dictatorial regimes. Thus, the great economic and cultural powers that Russia and Cuba once were have come to symbolize violence, human cruelty, alienation and injustice. Segura has exhibited quite extensively, including the recent exhibition Adiós Utopía: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950 that opened at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in 2017 and continued on to the Walker Art Center later that year.

109

Contemporary Cuba: Works from a Private Collection

Pedro el Grande (Peter the Great)

signed and titled "Pedro el Grande PEDRO EL GRANDE Esterio" lower edge
watercolor on paper
27 3/8 x 20 in. (69.5 x 50.8 cm.)
Executed circa 1994-1996.

Estimate
$1,500 - 2,000 

sold for $6,000

Contact Specialist
Sam Mansour
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1219
smansour@phillips.com

New Now

New York Auction 28 February 2018