Adagio Benitez (b. 1924) was born in Santiago de Cuba and graduated from San Alejandro National School of Fine Arts in 1949. His early paintings broached social and political issues and his subjects were often militiamen, welders, and women working in factories. By the 1960s, he began to conceive of drawings and paintings in which the characters were made of plied paper, a kind of origami, and contrasted them with appropriations of figures of universal art. A maestro of portraits of historic figures — including José Martí, Julio Antonio Mella, Jesús Menéndez, Camilo Cienfuegos and Che Guevara — and the recreation of popular faces, Adigio favorably surprised critics and the public by experimenting with geometric shapes and allegorical representations.
Benitez presented more than 30 solo shows and participated in 150 group exhibitions. He painted four murals in Cuba and two in Mexico. His work is featured in collections and personal exhibitions in more than 30 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Dozens of his pieces are included in public and private collections throughout the world.