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Exploring Artistry and Heritage with Cuban Artist Yoandy Orama

In the vibrant cultural tapestry of Tampa, the artistic spirit of Yoandy Orama stands out. Born and nurtured in Remedios, Cuba, Yoandy's journey into the world of art began under the influence of his uncle's woodcarving skills, sparking a lifelong passion for creation. His formal training at the Manuel Ascunce Domenech art school further refined his diverse skills in painting, decoration, and the innovative use of ferrocement in sculpture.



Since arriving in the United States two years ago, Yoandy has immersed himself in exploring the rich array of materials available, constantly pushing the boundaries of his artistic expression. His work spans various mediums and techniques, each piece a reflection of his deep connection to his Cuban roots and the universal themes of love, nature, and human emotion.



One of Yoandy's most monumental projects in the U.S. is a statue of José Martí, commissioned for the Casa Martí project. Martí, a figure of significant historical importance with close ties to Ybor City, symbolizes freedom and intellectual independence. Creating this statue was not just an artistic endeavor for Orama but a profound homage to a global leader who resonates deeply with the Cuban community.



Yoandy's approach to creating the Martí statue involved meticulous research and innovative techniques. He studied Martí’s real height to craft a lifelike representation, constructing a metal skeleton covered with mesh to form the "bones" of the sculpture. This framework served as the foundation for the ferrocement technique, where he skillfully applied layers of cement, sculpting the details with precision and care. This method, blending strength with detail, allowed Yoandy to capture the essence of Martí’s persona in a dynamic, three-dimensional form.



The process was arduous, with countless hours dedicated to perfecting each segment of the statue, from the posture to the facial expressions, ensuring every aspect was imbued with historical accuracy and artistic integrity. Yoandy describes this process as building a human body from the inside out, a testament to his dedication and skill as an artist.



Upon completing the statue, Yoandy expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to contribute such a significant piece to the community and to honor a figure like José Martí. His humble appreciation for being part of this project reflects his deep commitment to his art and the messages it carries.



Yoandy Orama’s work continues to inspire and captivate, not only through his artistic creations but also through his dedication to his roots and the broader narrative of cultural heritage and identity. His story is a vivid reminder of the power of art to bridge histories and communities, leaving a lasting impact on all who encounter his work.



Discover more about Yoandy and his art on Instagram at @orama_artist, and witness the breadth of his talent and the depth of his vision. You can also watch and listen to an interview with Yoandy on The Beza Podcast at https://youtu.be/OcX7Qgy1Ffc?si=0F3N6VedNztCU17B

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