Reading my guidebook prior to my Cuba trip, I fell in love with Cuban art. I knew my pocket will be seriously depleted by the end of the trip so it wasn’t much surprise to anyone when I kept stopping by every gallery admiring the local work and snooping on painters at work.
Martha Jimenez’s studio is located in Camaguey. She is one of the best Cuban painters and an avid supporter of women’s rights. Her paintings of women often address the issues of liberty. She is an incredibly lovely lady, keen to answer questions about her work and her inspirations. She tends to work on a few pieces at the time perfecting them with each sitting.
Luis Eliades is a well-known Cuban painter of Afro-Caribbean gods, working and residing in Baracoa. Quoting directly from his website ‘Born in Baracoa on 22 June 1942. He graduated as Art Professor at “Jose Joaquin Tejada” Art School in Santiago de Cuba in 1969.’ He draws inspiration from Santeria. He is very proud of the brush technique he has developed as his trademark, which I can only describe as twirls. It makes his paintings fascinating when looking at them up close.
My dream painting hangs in his studio and I am hoping that if all goes well, it might hang on my wall at some point in the near future. His personal favourite, which you can see here, is also somewhere in England.
And finally Martalena from Havana. A fascinating lady, who only paints the portraits of Frida. Her whole gallery is full of different versions of Frida. Martalena believes that Frida as a very inspiring artist protects her against all evil.