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 Corso (Baren Corso) de Palenzuela  (late 20th century)



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Lived/Active: New York/Virginia / Cuba      Known for: folk art style painting

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Biography from a third party submitted on 11/02/2008:
Baron Corso de Palenzuela was born in Cuba at Quinta Covadonga of aristocratic Sephardic ancestry.   Like many in the United States, his titled family, disgusted with Batista’s corruption, was drawn to Castro’s promise of a better life for all Cubans.  They often entertained Castro at their beautiful estate.  But, when things started to unravel in their beloved country, they decided to leave.  Mr. de Palenzuela was eight years old.

Corso de Palenzuela divides his time between Hudson Valley and Virginia homes.  He has been painting for many years, using this creative expression as an outlet for his own vivid remembrances.  At first, his art was a very private compulsion that enabled him to express feelings about his childhood as well as his connection to his spiritual life, in a style that has been described as Outsider or Visionary Art. 

Then, his work was discovered by Ana Mendieta, a Cuban-born artist, with connections to the art world in New York.  She persuaded him to show his work.  Since his first show,  Mr. de Palenzuela has shown his work in many galleries and exhibitions and developed a following. 

His work has been exhibited at the American Visionary Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, The Miami Fine Art Museum and The Havana Municipal Museum.

Writing in Raw Vision Magazine, Edward Gomez says his paintings go “…far beyond the Cuban-American dominated zones of Miami and South Florida reflected both increasing and broader popular interest in Latin-American culture in general, and the ever-widening scope of the Outsider Art world, where interest in styles, techniques or themes associated with particular peoples or places has significantly enriched appreciation of the genre.”

Although his style might also be compared to folk art, his background belies this category.  He comes from a line of gem merchants and continues to work in this market.  He proudly displays his family’s coat of arms in his living room.  He has an impressive collection of fine wines and often writes articles on wine and food.  So, his art comes from his own internal spirituality and often tells intense stories that are inspired by his point of view of the world.  His paintings are done in vivid colors with childlike figures of men and animals, with little reference to the third dimension. Sometimes they have a religious theme, but as the artist explains “I’m religious, but I don’t believe in institutional religion.  I’m more of a mystic.”

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