The painter Myrna Baez is one of the few female artist that clearly had a major impact in our art. It is clear that the art scene in Puerto Rico was dominated by male artist through out the 50’s, 60’s and even the 70’s and very few female painter where even consider accomplished artist due to this effect, BUT not in the case of Myrna Baez she was a very diverse artist dominating different technique like drawing, woodcut engraving and acrylic/oil painting.
Myrna Baez in 1963 made a very special wood linoleum titled “Autorretrato” it was a simple yet powerful image of young Myrna Baez at 32 years of age, observing the viewer with a steady gaze. The composition showed a sharp yet elegant look in her eyes which expressed a centralized woman ready to surpass all obstacles in her way specially for the 60’s.
The work was such and important piece in her career that in 2014 the “Instituto de Cultura de Puerto Rico” used the image for the Campechada in her honor and even Lorenzo Homar one of the top engraver of that time used her woodcut for a Promotional Event.
These Self-Portrait to me is a very powerful statement that Myrna Baez sent to those male artist in that particular time in history. It said “I’m here to stay, weather you like it or not im as good of an artist as the rest of you”. There is no doubt that the engraving titled self-portrait is one of the best works by Myrna Baez. To this date I have not been able to find a single Self-Portrait that has this simplicity but at the same time emit so much passion in a single glance. Many great master have practiced the “Autorretrato” task but very few have been able to achieved the fame that this work has received on the last 40 years.
By Joey Medrano