Jose Angel Toirac was born in Guantanamo, Cuba in 1966. He attended the 23 y 12 Elemental School of Art, the San Alejandro Academy and the Superior Institute of Art, all in Havana, Cuba. Toirac’s work has been included in many landmark exhibitions and has exhibited extensively in several countries, both individually and as part of collective exhibitions. Toirac received the National Prize of the Plastic Arts for the Work of a lifetime.
His pieces can be found in the collections of the National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba; the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain; the Arizona State University Art Museum (ASU); the Ludwig Forum; the Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida; The Rhode Island School of Design Museum; the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California; the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas; and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Québec, Canada, among others.
Toirac often seeks inspiration in the past as a way to bring home his point referencing a present situation. He frequently includes the use of documents and images, both historical and artistic, mostly but not exclusively, from Cuban national records and archives. He brings out fragments of history that can be subject to revision, and by deconstructing it he confronts its official ‘reading’ in a subtle way, presenting the facts under a new light. He is very interested in the way that history has been manipulated to reinforce a given idea. He is constantly questioning the way that collective memory is ‘constructed’ by fabricating ‘supporting evidence’ such as photos, to ‘facts’ or by hiding information. The artist points out how the history of Cuba during these last decades would be rewritten once the political order changes and many ‘new’ historical facts surface.