Bilbao, recognized by specialists as “international capital of graphic art and art on paper” hosted, between 19 and 22 November 2015, the International Fair and Festival of Engraving and Art on paper called FIG Bilbao. The event was also awarded a prize that bears the same name, and was made a meeting of collectors of works of art in this type of support. According to the organizers, this was an event that has grown in popularity and audience becoming, only in four editions, an European reference by combining “excellence, exclusivity and social character” (FIG Bilbao, 2015).
The edition of 2015 brought very interesting news: the growth of the exhibition area to approximately 6000 square meters; the opening of a panel discussion to increase the visibility of women in the past and present of art and culture; the development of a forum about collectionism around the engraving and drawing; the presentation of new artists of best art faculties as part of a project for mobility, exchange and dissemination of their creations; the analysis of issues such as the graphics market in dialogue with its social value; the presence of Latin American exhibitors (Mexico, Argentina and Cuba) and the declaration of Havana as city of honor becoming a capital city connected with FIG Bilbao for communication and integrated into the engraving sector.
One of the international exhibitors is the Graphic Experimental Workshop of Havana. This workshop “conducts educational projects, while maintaining close links with art schools and self-taught artists. Lithography is its raison d’etre, but includes other more contemporary as collagraph” (FIG Bilbao 2016, website) techniques.
Irving participated at the event with two lithographs with animals heads like dogs, goats and humans. He also presented several drawings with his powerful aesthetics and his common characters like the teddy bear, the bird, the human figure and the talking heads.
It has already been announced the next edition in November 2016 on the official site. This will be another great opportunity to the Cuban engravers and artists.