Valenti Govantes/Contributing Writer
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Art Museum celebrated the debut of a new sculpture by Julio Larraz.
Larraz, a Cuban-born artist, has been creating sculptures and paintings since 1961. His works have been featured in venues such as the Perez Art Museum. His work has also been featured in Europe.
He is also a caricaturist with several of his caricatures being featured in publications such as the New York Times and Vogue.
The sculpture, made from bronze and painted a light shade of teal, is known as the “Trojan Horse”.
“Trojan Horse” is meant to represent a synthesis between a horse featured in Homer’s “Odyssey” Greek epic poems and Larraz’s childhood thoughts of his father’s telephone in Cuba.
“My father had a newspaper in Havana, Cuba, and he had one of these old phones. As a child, I used to see it and I used to think ‘It’s a horse!’ because it looks like a horse,” Larraz said.
He said that the name of the sculpture came from a story in Homer’s “Odyssey” Greek epic poems.
“In the time of the Trojan horse, they probably would have called inside and said ‘You have a present in here, come and get before it rains,’” he said.
Amy Galpin, the art curator of the museum, took to a podium positioned by the sculpture to discuss the sculpture’s inclusion.
“It is an amazing thing to connect the joy of the love we have for this sculpture with the political and social realities that we face today. Julio Larraz is an artist deeply aware and sensitive to our political circumstances, to fighting dictatorships, to working against social and economic inequity,” said Galpin.
Galpin was asked about how she felt of the inclusion of the piece into the collection of the museum.
“I’m really excited about it. I think it’s visually stunning work and I think it creates an opportunity for a lot of different types of conversations that we can have with museum visitors, students, faculty and staff here on campus,” she said.
Tania Alonso, the Museum Membership Manager at Frost, was similarly asked how she felt about the sculpture’s presence in the museum.
“I think it’s a great addition to the museum not just because of what the sculpture is but for the artist. The artist is Cuban and in our community, we have a big Cuban population and I think it means a lot to them and it means a lot to the university. We are very honored to have it,” Alonso said.
Larraz was asked how he felt about his work being featured in this museum, among many other locations, and how that can be fulfilling to an artist.
“If the art is not seen, it is like a tree that falls in the woods that doesn’t make a sound. Art has to be out, it has to be seen. It’s originally made for everybody, for everybody’s enjoyment. If in any way it helps the betterment of humanity then art is indispensable,” said Larraz.