I was born in 1931 in Matanzas, Cuba, into a humble and loving family. When I was small I wanted to follow in my father's footsteps and become a musician. I was passionate about drawing, however, and amused myself illustrating the schoolbooks of my cousins.
My Uncle Carlos kept all my drawings, and when I was 10, Uncle Carlos showed my work to a certain Professor Alberto Tarasco, who loved what he saw and suggested that I receive lessons at his Academy. I was invited there on a one-year fellowship. But I ended up remaining at the Academy for over five years, until I was 16.
My teacher wanted me to go on to the Academy of Beaux Arts, but my parents preferred instead that I become a lawyer, rather than devoting myself to painting.
After long and heated discussions with them, and my unstinting insistence that my path lay in art not in law, they finally allowed me to return to study Fine Arts as long as I graduated. I did – receiving a degree in painting.
I can not thank my Uncle Carlos enough for working so hard to help me strengthen my vocation. I was already an eager draftsmen, but thanks to his encouragement, I drew all the time, and was inspired by great contemporary painters such as Wifredo Lam, Ponce de Leon, Carlos Enriquez ...
I had the opportunity later to meet Wilfredo Lam himself in Paris, as well as the famous archaeologist an poet Robert Ganzo, who was one of his great friends.
At the time we were living in Montparnasse, and dined at the Dome, the celebrated spot, where we also had a chance to meet Von Dongen, Sadkin, Foujita and his wife Fernande Barrey.
When I was a student, in order to see original works of art by notable contemporary artists, I needed to travel to Havana, since there was no museum in Matanzas.
I decided that one day if I had the means that I would found a museum in my hometown. And that day has finally arrived. I was able to create an art museum in Matanzas, and to help its collection with the gift of my own art, donations from my personal collections – including 800 original prints, including several by Rembrandt, and gifts that have been made to me by my painter friends throughout my life. Furthermore, being true to my Afro-Cuban origins, I also supplied the museum with original works of African art.
Matanzas is my hometown, a beautiful, blue and sparkling city on the sea. Matanzas Bay is as big as the bay of Santiago de Cuba. It's a place of art and above all, of music: Some great Cuban rhythms were born in Matanzas: the Danzon, the Guaguanco, and also the Mambo.
My hope for the Matanzas Art Museum is that it become recognized internationally for its collection of work by known, unknown, forgotten and yet-to-be discovered masters.
Although as a still-working artist it's likely that I will die with a brush in hand, at the same time my dearest wish is to help poor and struggling artists to develop their art. I myself needed financial encouragement as a young man – and as I grew successful I vowed to help struggling artists, mainly those in Cuba and France.
The world needs art. The man who makes art is not interested in waging war. I am a painter of the beauty of the world. I want that war cease. I want to love, not to hold grudges. Painting is necessary for the future of art. Art allows us to breathe, and it brings people together. As I have had chances, I wish to give a chance to others.
After the Cuban Revolution, I had a scholarship thanks to that revolution. I was a revolutionary from the first, and will always be a revolutionary, with my brush. I want to battle for my country with art as a weapon of choice.
I also want Cuba to become an artistic reference in terms of painting. I want to make art accessible to all Cubans. So that exhibitions of art can travel to the remotest corners of the country and, indeed, the world and put forward the musical culture of Matanzas, La Rumba, The Mambo, The Danzon, The Guaguanco, etc. Art is for everyone.
My grandson, David Padilla and his wife, Mary, have helped me in this quest. They are very committed to seeing this foundation grow as well as my brother Pedro Padilla. I want to dedicate this foundation to them, as well as to Gracia, my late wife, and my lasting inspiration: I miss her so much, but she is always in my heart.
The biggest for me has always been Diego Velazquez. He is, in fact, a precursor to Impressionism, and was a key to the freedom of expression on canvas. But I have also been inspired by Goya, El Greco, Turner, Monet. My dream has to be associated somehow with these great artists. I say this without pretension. I am a person who draws his strength by imitating the art of others -- I am inspired by them. I hope one day people will speak of me as a great painter, certainly, but above all as a great benefactor.
The Lorenzo Padilla Foundation aims to help artists Cuban painters and participate in safeguarding the pictorial heritage of Cuba. Thanks to funds already raised, the foundation will be organizing exhibitions around the world, mainly in the most remote places on earth, to bring art to everyone.
The Foundation will also create a scholarship to enable talented young painters to have access to major international schools of art, culture so that they themselves might begin to achieve recognition for their art. So far, funds are being used to buy materials (paint, canvas, and other supplies) to help artists and the poorest art schools to professionalize their art.
COFOUNDER and CEO Mrs Marie Padilla y Diaz
COFOUNDER Mr David Padilla y Diaz
COFOUNDER Mr Lorenzo Padilla
HONOR PRESIDENT Mrs Domitilla Weiller
Members of Advisory Board
Representative of FDD Lorenzo Padilla in Cuba
Mr Pedro Padilla y Diaz
Mr Jean-Pierre Bel
Personal Envoy of the President of the French Republic for Latin America and the Caribbean,
and former President of the French Senate
Mrs Barbara Hendricks
Mrs Mirna Murillo Gamarra
Mr Walter Scandale
Doctor of Physics and former member of the Superior CERN staff
Mr Erik Gonthier
Doctor et Maître de Conférence of MNHN Prehistoric Department Paris
Mrs Fabienne Stimamiglio
Mrs Lola Jouyaux
Mr Heinrich Defarge
Mr Eric Renesson
Mrs Haydeline Diaz
In November, 2016, The Lorenzo Padilla foundation ' is returned to Matanzas, Cuba, to donate more than year of material (paints, paintings and quite different supplies) to the School of Fine Arts of the city to help the pupils and the artists to become there to study in the conditions most world Grandes Écoles. The operation was successful.
During this visit, the foundation also estimated the needs for the Museum of Arts of Matanzas in terms of restoration, preservation of heritages and creation of a future big museum of arts of Matanzas:
Collections of the donations previous one will always be endowed (African Arts, Lorenzo's Works padilla, paints and engravings of international artists).
In the museum a dedicated space will be create to the memory of the musics born in Matanzas such as the Rumba, the Danzón, the Guaguanco, the Mambo genesis of the musical heritage of Cuba.
This museum will have a vocation which will go beyond the artistic gratitude: indeed, he will allow to highlight Matanzas and to develop his economy: the city of Matanzas is indisputably the Cuban city the closest to France whether it is culturally or historically, but this reality is still too much underestimated. We have to all awaken our consciousnesses in this reality.
The Foundation met numerous artistic actors: talents in herbs and confirmed. We also exchanged with the high institutions of the island.
The Lorenzo Padilla foundation be anxious to thank his donors and his partners who allowed to bring to a successful conclusion this mission. We are also anxious to thank Cuba and more particularly the children of the school who reserved us a great welcome (besides their welcome he again demonstrated the utility of the missions of the foundation).
We shall return in held to pursue our missions of help.
During year 2017, personal exhibitions and sales of the works of the Cuban painter Lorenzo Padilla will be realized for the benefit of the Foundation. Numerous actions will be led to pursue the harvest of funds.
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Thanks to your contribution, you will help advance our goal of providing everyone with access to art and culture.
The primary purpose of the Foundation is to help Cuban artists and painters to participate in safeguarding the pictorial heritage of Cuba. The funds will also go toward organizing exhibitions around the world, mainly in remote areas, to bring art to everyone. Finally, a scholarship will be created to provide the poorest children access to major international schools of art and culture.
Income tax: Reduction for donations to charitable bodies.
Payments in the form of grants or contributions FDD Lorenzo may give rise to a tax reduction on income.
Your gift can be one of the following forms:
To benefit from the tax reduction, your payment, whatever the form, must be done without direct or indirect consideration for your benefit. This means that you should not get benefits in exchange for your payment.
When you contribute to an association, institutional and symbolic benefits that you get are not considered as real counterparts. For example, the right to vote at the general meeting.
It is the same of the various documents you receive (newsletters, etc.).
By contrast, if you receive minor property (greeting cards, badges, etc.), the value of such consideration shall not exceed one quarter of the amount of the donation, with a maximum of €65 per year.
When the amount of donations exceeds the limit of 20% of taxable income, the excess is carried over the following five years and is eligible for the tax reduction under the same conditions.
Where new payments following years, deferred surplus qualify for the tax reduction before the payments of the year. The oldest surpluses are retained in priority.
To complete your tax return, you can consult the information folder and the brochure practice of income tax.
You must keep receipts for the tax authorities may request.