Cándido Bidó

Dominican Republic, 1936


Cándido Bidó was born on 1936 at Bonao, Dominican Republic. Graduated as an art professor at the National School of Arts. 1962 Worked as assistant professor at the National School of Arts. 1962 - 1967 Was a Faculty professor at National School of Arts of Drawing and Arts. 1967- 1981. Found in Santo Domingo, Cándido Bidó Art Center, where he taught Painting, Drawing and Sculpting. In 1987 he closed the art center and left the Cándido Bidó Art Gallery in Santo Domingo. 1976 - 1987 Founded the Cultural Center Plaza in Bonao, Dominican Republic de Bonao and the Cándido Bidó Art Museum, in Bonao, Dominican Republic. 1987 Founded The School of Arts of the Dominican Air Force in Santo Domingo. 1996 Cándido Bidó is one of the Dominican Republic's most famous contemporary artists. His extraordinary paintings are exhibited worldwide and have been featured in several monographs of the artist. Yet it is the rare tourist who has even heard of Bidó let alone stumbled upon his gallery. A quiet, modest man, Bidó attained greatness in part because he promoted others rather than himself. His paintings reflect great love for the people who live in his native, rural Cibao Valley. "I can see them and feel them always around me," said Bidó. "If I attempted to forget them. I would not be true to myself." Santo Domingo's major art museum, the excellent Galería de Arte Moderno, has a collection of Bidó's paintings. You can also find his work, at the Fundación Bonao Para La Cultura, the organization he started in his hometown of Bonao to provide art education, entertainment and cultural facilities to the Cibao community. The sun is the hallmark of much of Bidó's work and his colors are intense. Standing next to one of his paintings is almost like standing in the shimmering, humid heat of the Caribbean at midday. Indeed sun-hot colors were so integral to Bidó's work that the gallery sold small cans of his signature paints, custom colors he created himself: blazing yellows, turquoise-sea blues and fiery shades of orange. After graduating from the School of Fine Arts in Santo Domingo, Bidó became a master draftsman and worked as a teacher in the 1950s while developing his unique style -- applying vivid colors in a multitude of hues, often layering them with tiny details such as dots, flowers and bush strokes. For more than 40 years, the artist drew inspiration from the Cibao Valley, where a native Amerindian population farms rice, coffee, yam and banana crops. Bidó depicts a country side, both real and magical, populated with men, women and children who inhabit a pre-technical world and who appear as a fusion of races; black, white and indigenous Arawak. Merging with their luminous landscape, they are naive, mystical archetypes. Their mask-like faces evoke a surprising poignancy; their farmland is surreal but benign. Picasso once declared, "Art washes away the dust of everyday life." A Bidó painting does just that; it suggests the simplicity, even poverty of a specific people but also reveals their heart. A gigantic sun with a brushstroke halo keeps watch over mothers, fishermen, farmers and peddlers who show a clumsy, sweet tenderness for each other. Enormous birds float through a cerulean air, are worn like hats, or are lovingly caressed. It is an enchanted and lush Antillean Paradise that Bidó wanted us to see; the world before the Fall yet strangely of our own world too, the one that seduces us with its universal depiction of yearning love and hope. Cándido Bidó passed away on March 07-11 after battling a severe coronary syndrome.

Artworks by Cándido Bidó