Among the decorations and talismans in many Cuban homes it is common to find objects made from shiny colored glass underlaid by a figure made from aluminum foil. . Popular subjects are birds and young women. For example, are a peacock with its tail feathers displayed or a sort of idealized kimono-clad geisha with parasol.

Adopting this form, Alberto Casado's luminescent canvases of recycled glass and aluminum foil depict subjects from a broad spectrum of contemporary Cuban culture. Among his many subjects is Martí.

In the three portraits that follow, Martí is seen first with his face covered in brightly covered dominos, in his hand is what might be a domino with the image of an old-fashioned kerosene lamp. The portrait carries the legend - Buen Jugador (Good Player). In the second portrait, Martí holds what is definitely a playing card, but one that identifies the organization name and date of one of his earliest exhibitions in New York. Two of the three pictures carry the legend, Yo abpazo a todos los que saben amar (I embrace all those who know how to love).

In using this popular style and integrating it in the language of contemporary art, Casado succeeds in validating a popular form; one understood and appreciated by countless Cubans.


  • Title: Buen Jugador
  • Creator: Alberto Casado
  • Date Created: 2007
  • Location: The Bronx Museum of the Arts Permanent Collection Gift of Linda Blumberg
  • Location Created: Cuba
  • Physical Dimensions: 15 13/16 x 11 1/8 inches
  • Medium: Paint, seragraphic ink on glass, aluminum, foil, masonite panel, nails

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