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Many of those who visit the Dominican Republic for its golden sandy beaches, tropical forests, and adventure in Jurassic Park-esque settings discover that it's also home to a world of rich culture, intriguing history and especially some world-class contemporary art.
One of the DR modern art scene's most famous figures was the late Cándido Bidó, whose work earned him international fame in Europe, the United States and the Middle East. His works were highly sought after by foreigner collectors scattered in the five continents and have even earned him awards such as First Prize in the 12th Biennial of the Fine Arts (for his work ‘Los amantes de la aldea,’ "Lovers of the Village"), and the first exhibition in France of any Dominican painter. As one of the most famous artists in the Dominican Republic, he not only helped establish modern art in this country, but also helped introduced the DR to the art world.
Born in 1936 in the town of Bonao (in the center of the country northwest of Santo Domingo), Bidó was always inspired by his hometown. Native wildlife, countryside and nature were elements that were well reflected in their work. With the use of oil, crayon and gouache, he gave his paintings a sense of joy, freshness, tenderness and poetry. He liked to portray the fruits, flowers and especially the sun as part of the Antillean Caribbean landscape, and his paintings reflected a real love for the people and places of his country. Bidó was totally devoted to his drawings and paintings, with the sole intention of giving the best of himself and his art. He passed away in March 2011 at age 75, leaving a legacy and a legend.
If you’re interested in learning more about Bidó or his art during your Dominican vacation, visit the Museum of Modern Art in Santo Domingo, where a collection of his best works are on display. To dive deeper, head to Bonao, Bidó’s hometown. Candido Bidó founded the Museum in the Plaza de la Cultura of Bonao, where his works are on permanent display along with those of other great Dominican painters such as Guillo Pérez, Elsa Nuñez, and Alonso Cuevas. You’ll get to see works by American painters like Orlando Vallejo and Alfredo Sinclair, too. While in Bonao, you can also visit the painting school that was set up by Bidò. With the intention of providing arts education, entertainment and cultural services to the community of the Cibao, he truly contributed immensely to the artistic development of his hometown.
Photo | SpecialKRB