Zoilo Cajigas
Date 1964
Category Sculpture
Medium Wood relief
Genre Portrait
Period 20th Century
Collection Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña Collection

Tomás Batista

"Zoilo Cajigas" (1964)



Sculptor, restorer. Between 1955 and 1957, Batista took lessons from Spaniard Angel Botello, and he produced his first sculpture in 1957. In 1958, with a scholarship from the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, Batista spent two years in the ICP’s Sculpture Studio, which was under the direction of famed Spanish-exile sculptor Compostela at that time. In 1960, Batista went to Mexico to study at La Esmeralda School, where he also collaborated with Tomás Chávez Morado on sculptures for La Ciudadela. In 1962, he was given a Guggenheim Fellowship, and he studied in New York. In 1964, he spent time in Spain. In 1966 he became director of the ICP’s Sculpture and Restoration Studio, a program which eventuated in the creation of the Puerto Rico School of Plastic Arts. His first sculptures were in wood, and one of the best-known pieces from this period is Majestad negra (Black Majesty), although on his return to Mexico he chose to use stone. He was commissioned by the Puerto Rican government to do the Monument to the Puerto Rican Jíbaro in Cayey. His work is based on Puerto Rican themes, and his style is figurative, though stylized.