The most remarkable place in Los Puertos de Altagracia is a Home museum of the muralist artist Gabriel Bracho. The museum was opened for amateurs of art even in May 1977, when the artist was still alive, and since that time it has not phased out its noble mission to popularize realistic for a single day, social oriented truly humanistic art. All these epithets concern the works of Bracho himself, who stands in one line with great Mexican muralists - Siqueiros, Orozco and Rivera.
Bracho used to live and work at the epoch, when those artists-realists having active views for life, were pressed from all directions by bourgeois, commercially profitable art that used to be presented (and is being presented nowadays) as «the artistic equivalent of scientific and technological advance». For Bracho, this purposeful dehumanization of art and making it senseless, equals to publicly committed crime against human civilization.
The attitude in Venezuela towards the exhibition devoted to the 50th anniversary of Bracho activity is very indicative. It was practically ignored by the mass media of the country! The Venezuelan bourgeois elite was crowding in the halls of the Modern art museum among anti-aesthetically beautiful structures of the American Rauschenberg, the only view of which scared inexperienced in formalism children. That is what the political engagement of mass media, which has confused the Venezuelans, brought to!
Is it possible that even nowadays, in the Bolivarian Venezuela, somebody is interested in «preservation» of Gabriel Bracho and his creative works at the periphery of social and cultural battles? The silence conspiracy is till surrounding the artist.
The artistic heritage of Bracho includes dozens of murals in Venezuela, hundreds of easel paintings and graphic works scattered among private and museum collections of the world. One of his murals - «Boyaca» decorates the walls of the presidential palace Miraflores. A unique, made by him stained-glass window can be seen in the Ministry of Defence of Venezuela. This is a building dome of 234 square meters.
But probably the most favourite piece of work of the artist is his mural of 120 square meters «Los Puertos and petroleum», on which the artist worked in several stages and completed not long before his death on March 6, 1995. This fresco is situated in the inner yard of his Home museum. It tells us about the life of Los Puertos de Altagracia staring from the colonial times till present time with the history of Venezuela at the background. Miranda, Bolivar and other heroes-liberators are among the characters of the mural.
The folklore motives are also interesting: the procession of St. Virgin of Altagracia, festival in honour of a black saint San Benito. Subject of consumer attitude towards the lake of Maracaibo is interlaced here – beer cans, bottles, empty petroleum barrels covering its bottom.
As if jeering at the activity of the artists of Rauschenberg kind, Bracho incorporated into the mural entourage the metal barrel, on the bottom of which he placed the portraits of his ideological opponents – famous Venezuelan politicians Carlos Rangel and Sofia Imber, who, according to Bracho, represented the interests of the world imperialism in Venezuela.
The honourable place in the portrait gallery is occupied by a Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, whose poetry Bracho has always admired.