Agustín Cárdenas was born in Cuba in 1927, a descendant of African slaves.
He received his artistic education at the School of the High Arts of Havana, was a member in significant artistic groups, displayed his works in his homeland and won important awards for artistic achievement.
In 1955, he settled in Paris and joined the Surrealist movement. He was a close associate of Jean Arp, who had a major impact on his work and was also influenced by Henry Moore and Constantin Brâncuşi.
Cardenas did not abandon his African roots and layered his Surrealist ideology with references to the Dogon tribal totems of West Africa. By mixing African elements with surrealism, Cardenas made his sculptures dynamic and saturated with ritual mysticism.
Cardenas was an award-winning, successful and appreciated artist, whose works are exhibited in important places around the world. Despite all this, he never abandoned his relationship with his homeland, continued to display his works there and was very much admired in Cuba.
Cardenas died in Cuba in 2001.
The original position of “Divinity of the Moon” was closer to the cliff edge but was moved to its present location following the construction of the Beresheet hotel. It is important to note this fact because Cardenas drew his inspiration for the sculpture from the Dogon totems of tribes living below the Cliff of Bandiagara in West Africa.
Another element in the design of the statue is its surreal atmosphere as the shapes flow and intertwines. This is reminiscent of the work of Jean Arp, a prominent French surrealist, who influenced Cardenas’s works.
In the early morning or at dusk, when the light creates sharp contrasts, the shapes come alive, and with them, an increased feeling of an alien, otherworldly being overlooking the expanse of the Ramon Crater.