Lorenzo Linares: A Cuban plastic artist at the height of time (+Photos)

By Lázaro David Najarro Pujol

September, 2021.- The work of the plastic artist Lorenzo Linares stands out for its quality, refined technique and insightful. He also paints with great sincerity and in each of his works there is a message, “a content and a specific form”, reports today the national portal of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC).

He projects several pictures and thinks that he has to “hurry to keep up with the time”.

He is a great admirer of the work of the Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamin and expresses it on his canvases. At his home on Pintor Street, in the city of Camagüey, he keeps a silkscreen given on December 3, 2009 by the son of the prestigious creator.

CABEZA y MANO de 35 x 50 cm., es una obra gráfica numerada 25175 con firma impresa del Maestro Oswaldo Guayasamin

CABEZA y MANO de 35 x 50 cm., es una obra gráfica numerada 25175 con firma impresa del Maestro Oswaldo Guayasamin

Lorenzo Linares is one of the hundreds of Cubans trained in the then Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), where he achieved valuable academic knowledge that has positively marked him as a professional and a human being.

Linares, members of the Camagüey section of Plastic Arts of the UNEAC, is considered among the most prestigious landscape painters in Cuba. Born on August 13, 1952 he reflected that he really learned “greatly what he did not imagine he could know”.

Who has been called the artist who paints with the soul, studied in 1984 with the highest qualification, a six-year master’s degree at the Faculty of Painting, of the State Institute of Art in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, from where he returned to Cuba full of strength, of hopes.

He recalled that he grew up practically in the countryside, in the community of La Vallita and that I was surrounded by roosters, country landscapes and nature, a universe that is present in a large part of his pictorial work.

He related that when he was working on the preparation of his graduate thesis in the USSR, his professor saw him a little lost among so many projects, although with many possibilities.

“The professor opened the way for me by emphasizing that when you want to undertake a large project, a degree thesis work, you have to think about the past… what was my past, what were the circumstances that surrounded me and in which it formed me”, Linares stressed.

His father was a cattle driver at the time when, mounted on horseback, the animals moved hundreds of kilometers from one place to another and then he thought of his little farm in La Vallita, where dozens of peons met with their cattle every four months and their horses.

Since he was a child, in the middle of the mountain he showed his concerns for the plastic arts and painted the world that surrounded him; he drew on the floor of his house, in notebooks or on cartridge paper (wrapping merchandise), horses, cattle and the countryside.

“I began to see values ​​in the rooster and they are reflected in my landscape works with a charge behind each image. There is a message that the rooster is trained by man to profit from him through fights.

But in the rooster that I paint I see other elements: not allowing oneself to be taken away under any circumstances; not to be taken away from him. The roosters that I paint have an ideological, human connotation of great magnitude. They are present, and very concatenated, the color of their feathers, the movement”.

Lorenzo Linares is one of the greats who shows himself with great simplicity and humility. In each project he tries to “find an order and coherence to what is created” and he conceptualized that “art must be honest, authentic, proper and come from the bowels of the soul.

Everything that is done in favor of humanity and for the beautiful profession I think is valid”, he urged.

In Cuba and the dissimilar galleries and homes of the world, the works of Linares are exhibited as relics, who is proud of the influences that have marked him through the years, without anyone being able to brand him as a Ukrainian or Russian painter… because it has had its own style with the teachings of the great masters.

These positive influences are undeniable, of quality and of a scientific level as a consequence of a study of what is the form and the figure, including the materials with which an artistic work is worked.

“In addition to the Russian School, there they taught me to delve into the work of Leonardo da Vinci, Miguel Ángel, Francisco Goya. I had the opportunity to visit museums, see the originals of the great painters of humanity”, he stressed.

“When I go to reflect daring images of color, movement and dynamic content, I think of Goya, who greatly influenced my career as a painter”.

I have to study the complete work of the Spanish painter before undertaking the Cuban Rodeo degree thesis, which came out of 47 sketches or studies to summarize in one painting the riding of the bull, the demolition, the calf link, the rider, the crowd.

“The bulls of Cuba are not the same as those of another country, the horses of this island do not resemble those of there”, he compared and said that it required the search for a way in a climate where gray colors predominated to try to give the midday sun of the Caribbean island.

The Cuban Rodeo canvas is the confrontation of brute force with man and that element was achieved in that picture of thesis, for which he had to deeply study the anatomy of the Cuban-Arab horse.

Olga Govdia, then head of the Directorate of Artistic Exhibitions of Ukraine, defended that the Cuban Rodeo canvas the artist uses in an abbreviated way the saturated color, its free combinations of blue, yellow and red.

She explained that in him you can see, or rather hear, the echoes of Francisco Goya’s painting. But this is one more merit of the diploma work that speaks of the knowledge of the great painter and the power not to surrender to the influence of his work, but to remain himself.

She said she felt satisfaction in undertaking a work that helps to live or helps others to live. It is something that always marks you and fills you with pride.

She specified that he has great patterns when he wants to undertake certain essences of a movement and that he does not go directly to Impressionism or to the Masters who developed that current, “because the way of working has to do with the preference of each person”. (Photos by the author) (Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez)


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