This newspaper article is of particular interest because it confirms the evident agreement between the universalizing drive of Kinetic artists (who sought to create works that were meaningful to any human being anywhere on the planet) and the expectations of those who were in power in democratic governments in Venezuela in the second half of the twentieth century. This can be discerned in the words spoken by the president of the INCIBA, who notes the jury’s selection criteria, highlighting two essential aspects of this artist’s work: Cruz-Diez has made valuable—because of the works’ originality—artistic contributions in the field of color and Kinetic creation; also, that his work is based on science and the latest technology, thus linking him to the small group of creators that enjoy international recognition. It is clear that Venezuelan democracy’s “modernizing and progressive” goals found in Kinetic artists an authentic expression that was perfectly aligned with their policies designed to encourage the onset of scientific and technological modernity. There was an undeniable desire to transcend the backwardness and isolation of the country’s rural and provincial past in pursuit of a truly universalist future.
The president of the INCIBA not only confirms his agreement with the jury’s selection criteria; he believes that it is proof of a universal drive that is not restricted to outstanding people but is a trait of the entire Venezuelan population, one that artists such as Cruz-Diez, Soto, Otero, and Marisol [Escobar] express in their works. These works express a universality that continues the work of national independence heroes like Simón Bolívar, Francisco Miranda, and Andrés Bello who also created work that, at the time, transcended Venezuela’s borders and attracted the attention “of the most educated and cultured people in the most civilized continent (meaning Europe) who were exceptionally experienced in the cultivation of the spirit.”
The article also claims that the “official” artist label—with which left wing cultural media always reproached Kinetic artists—was not due to a conscious, voluntary submission to any democratic government, let alone to promises of political patronage. It was the result of a truly ideological agreement, an overlap of opinions that Kinetic artists were able to exploit to benefit their work. It is not surprising that all major architectural and urban projects during the democratic period in Venezuela sought to wrap themselves in the social prestige and almost metaphysical aura that those artists attained among their compatriots.