Cuban born Julio César Banasco (painter, illustrator, drawer, sculptor, writer, and restorator) dreamed of becoming an artist since his early childhood. He began art studies at the age of 12 at the Vocational Art School in Pinar del Río, Cuba, where he studied with professors P. P. Oliva (painting), P. Fernandez (drawing), and Humberto Hernandez (engraving.) Three years later he graduated with honors and was selected to take the exams to study Fine Arts at the National School of Arts (ENA) in Havana, where he studied for four years with an exceptional cast of professors such as A. Vidal and E. Leyva (painting), and J. R. Garcés (drawing), among others.
His graduation thesis from the National School of Arts, “The Grand Supper,” is an installation conformed by several formats of work using acrylic, canvas, wood, bones, resin, and fiber, which would become the foundation of all of Mr. Banasco’s later figuration and artistic work, as well as the basis of his philosophical, aesthetic, ant ethical thought. After graduating with honors from ENA with a Gold Diploma, Mr. Banasco enrolled at the “Pedagogy Institute of Havana – E. J. Varona” earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts Education in 1991.
Since 1988 to present Mr. Banasco has participated in numerous art exhibitions both collaborative and personal, in galleries and events of Europe, the US, Latin-America, and Cuba. Some of the most relevant are: “Interior Utopia” (“Utopía del interior”) 1996, personal exhibition; two personal exhibits in Caracas, Venezuela in 2002; European Parliament Headquarters, 2003, personal exhibition inaugurated by the president of the Association for Cultural Exchange (ACP) and Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler (Havana City Historian); Carmen Montilla Gallery, Cuba, 2004, personal; CiDiArte Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal, 2004, personal exhibition curated by Fernando Carlos. From 2005 to 2010, several personal exhibitions in Spain and Portugal.
He also worked at the Museum of History in Pinar del Río, Cuba, as an art restorer and conservator from 1995-2007. Since 2007 he has worked as an independent artist, founding and directing his multidisciplinary artistic group project “Blue Dream” (Sueño azul). With this project he completed many works of restorations of relevance to his Cuban Cultural Heritage. These included: The Neo-classic Milanes Theatre, Vueltabajo Hotel, The Marriage Palace, paintings from museum collections, archeological ceramics, bronze, cement and marble monuments, and gold leaf applications to ancient and contemporary works of art. His beloved city of Pinar del Río commissioned him to create several sculptures that are permanently displayed as part of the city public properties.
In 2017 Mr. Banasco moved to Miami, Florida. In the United States he has participated in several collaborative and 3 personal exhibits. He works in RUN Art Foundry molding sculptures for several artists. He was able to achieve his dream of creating his first bronze “The Veil of Dreams” (El velo de los sueños) in 2018. Currently he is working on a book project that combines his poetry with images of his art.
Teaching is one of Mr. Banasco’s biggest passions. Being able to transmit what he has learned to others and seeing their progress is one of the biggest rewards he receives from his profession. He never stops learning and exploring new techniques and materials to work with and to share with his students, as he still considers himself a passionate student of art. His childhood dreams of art are still alive and he hopes to continue creating and sharing his work with the Encore family and the entire world really for many years to come.