Rafael Fuentes Rojas

Rafael Fuentes Rojas

Granma, Cuba, 1970

Email: lasfuentesrojas@yahoo.es

Painter-Draftsman. Professor of Painting and Drawing. Graduated from the Elementary School of Plastic Arts. “Manuel del Socorro Rodríguez” (1985) and at the Holguín Professional School of Art “El Alba” (1989) in the specialty of Painting and Drawing. He has participated in more than 100 Exhibitions, including 14 Personal. His works belong to private collections in countries such as Puerto Rico, Canada, France, the Netherlands and the United States. Professor of Painting and Drawing of the Professional Academy of Plastic Arts “Oswaldo Guayasamín” of Bayamo (2002 – 2004). He is currently working as an artist, linked to the Provincial Center of Art and the Cuban Fund of Cultural Property. He is a member of UNEAC.

Statement:

During these years, my work has been influenced by surrealism, expressionism and conceptualism.

In a first stage, a metaphorical – narrative load is appreciated, driven by emotional and sentimental events, which are codified symbolically or allegorically.

In the series “María y yo”, personal figurations, such as portraits and self-portraits, with appropriations and manipulations of iconographies belonging to universal art are found. The works form a collage of icons and symbols, whose daily and personal signifiers transit the intimate and popular. The figures tell us a story through formal elements of different natures or textures; they plot and link the drama of what is told in a kind of multidimensional and dreamlike world.

Later in “iconographic” works: “The rescue”, “San José Arcángel”, “Hey, hey are you asleep? or “¡Qué volá mulata!”, the proposals are marked by a social content, in which scope appropriation has the protagonist character. They are no longer, as before, bold or lively compositions, but slow and concise, in which the critical-social discourse displaces the formerly intimate, self-referential or narrated.

The strength lies in the sharpness with which I approach the content about the aesthetics of the purely formal, and in the fine Creole humor with which I emphasize the issues. This results in a substantive simplification, inclined to the structural codification of resized motifs towards other thematic lines.

Then the series “The color of the rose” and “Reasons” state mystical, philosophical and existential concerns, which make the language more sober and thought, at the same time universal. They are solved on paper in small formats of intimate connotation where drawing on color predominates with the use of metaphors, symbologies, levels of suggestion and possible readings in greater poetic reach. The compositions are rational and simplified with a critical, subtle and ironic accent, giving way to a reflexive – philosophical poetic that borders the metaphysical and the minimal.

Another no less important stage is the “informal” paintings (interior landscapes), which emerged as an objective need for changes and experiments; denoted by a self-liberating poetic that incorporates renewed use of forms and concepts in relation to what was previously frequented.

Executions of this period: “Where I said ten”, “Landscape with bare to the wind”, go to the very fact of painting through different philosophical approaches to the previous period. The realizations do not speak to us at a distance from the events, but they share the immediacy of their occurrence with life, and they subtly depict areas of personal reality. In such a way, they take shape in their here and now, as long as they are not “about things”, but are autonomous, indebted to themselves. Intellectual nature is replaced by instinctive, emotional or erotic characters. In relation to this, the concrete or identifiable is replaced by the suggested.

However, there is no gratuitousness of the form for the form or a facilitation of accidental accidents; the trade, the good work and the drawing make their way in the middle of the albur. They resize us towards old latitudes and at the same time point to the new path of a new experience.

Applied studies:

1985  – 1989  Holguín Professional School of Art “El Alba”. Holguin.

1982 – 1985  Elementary School of Plastic Arts “Manuel del Socorro Rodríguez”. Bayamo Granma

Personal exhibitions

2015  “Tribute”. Provincial headquarters of the UNEAC.

2013  “Between lights and shadows”. Small Dimensional Experimental Workshop Gallery.

2011  “Ľîle malice”. Manuel Muñoz Cedeño Provincial Museum.

2010  “Talk and let talk”. Public Intervention Project. General García Walk.

2009  “Intimate memories for a trip”. Retrospective Bayamo Theater

2007  “The Illuminated Form”. Bipersonal Small Dimensional Experimental Workshop Gallery.

2003  “Revelations”. Provincial Center of Plastic Arts and Design. Santiago de Cuba.

2002  “Revelations”. Provincial Council of Plastic Arts.

2000  “Behind the look”. Landscape with River Gallery. BFC Granma subsidiary.

1997  “Something also very personal”. Provincial Center of Art.

1995  “Autumn floods”. Universal Art Gallery. Santiago de Cuba.

1990  “Mediate”. House of Culture Ox up. Granma

1989  “Untitled”. Tele Gallery – Cristal. Holguin

           “Symbiosis”. Performance Cinema – Victoria Theater. Holguin

Collective exhibitions

2019  “Of the defect, the effect”. Provincial Center of Art.

           “From Color to Verse”. Provincial Center of Book and Literature.

           VI FORMART Edition. House`s Culture

2018  “Sense and Sensitivity”. Gallery Provincial headquarters of the UNEAC.

           “From Verse to Color”. Provincial Center of Book and Literature.

           V FORMART Edition. House`s Culture

2017  “From Verse to Color”. Provincial Center of Book and Literature.

           IV FORMART Edition. House`s Culture

2016  “Tribute to the Master”. Provincial Headquarters of the UNEAC.

           “Confluences”. Provincial Headquarters of the UNEAC.

           “Imaginary City”. Provincial Headquarters of the UNEAC.

           “Essays”. Provincial Headquarters of the UNEAC.

           “Cavilations”. III FORMART Edition. House of Culture

           “Thoughts of women”. Provincial Center of Art.

2015  “Addresses”. Public Art Project intervention. Faculty of Medical Sciences.

           “What do those who believe believe”. Provincial Headquarters of the UNEAC.

           “Tribute for Women’s Day”. Provincial Center of Art.

           “The whole sea was mine”. Literary`s Coffee

           “Notes”. II Edition of FORMART. House `s Culture

2014  “Shared vision”. Provincial Headquarters of the UNEAC.

           “Fragments”. I FORMART Edition. Cultural Center 500

2013  “All eyes all”. Cultural Center 500

           “From color to verse”. Landscape with River Gallery. BFC

           “City Lights”. Provincial headquarters of the UNEAC.

2012  “Multiple Reflections”. House of the Trova “La Bayamesa”.

           “Confluences”. Nationality House.

           “Multiple Reflections”. Homeland Hall. Tele Cristal. Holguin

           “5 X MORE”. Small Dimension Workshop Gallery.

           “From verse to color”. Literary Coffee

           “Continence of the deep”. Provincial Heritage

2011  “Evocations”. House of the Trova “La Bayamesa”.

           “From the tip to the end and the island too.” Provincial Prison and Women’s Prison Camp.

2010  “Profiles” Experimental Workshop Gallery “Small Dimension”.

           “Anniversary”. Experimental Workshop Gallery “Small Dimension”.

           “6 & 6”. Experimental Workshop Gallery “Small Dimension”.

           “Hand prints”. Benito Granda Parada Gallery. Jiguaní

2009   “Hand prints”. Experimental Workshop Gallery “Small Dimension”.

           “Variations in flight”. Mariano Rodríguez Gallery. Cojímar. Havana.

           “Parallel stories”. Provincial Center of Art.

           “Exhibition Tribute to the International Orthopedic Congress”. Bayamo Theater.

           “Common space” Experimental Workshop Gallery “Small Dimension”.

2008  “Big ones that make small”. Art Gallery. Camaguey

           “Audacity”. Experimental Workshop Gallery “Small Dimension”.

           Collective of Artists Members of the UNEAC. Provincial Headquarters of the UNEAC.

           Project “Expedition”. Silvio Rodríguez. Granma Provincial Prison.

           “25 years with the people”. Homeland Square.

           “Collective”. Provincial Council of Plastic Arts.

2007  Project “Rider of the Light”. Tribute to Che. Experimental Workshop Gallery “Small Dimension”.

           “Artists from Gran Canaria”. Homeland Square.

2006  “Artists from Granma”. Provincial Council of Plastic Arts.

2004  “19 Artists from Granma”. Provincial Council of Plastic Arts and Municipal Gallery Benito Granda. Jiguaní

2003  “Magic and Lyric of an encounter”. Serrana television.

           “Between books and painters”. Provincial Council of Plastic Arts.

2002  “Drawing the verse”. Provincial Center of Art.

1999  “The Conjuration of Silence”. Provincial Center of Art.

1998  “Signs of intramural”. Provincial Center of Plastic Arts. Santiago de Cuba.

1995  “The other door”. (Cult of Impressionism). Provincial Center of Art.

1994  “Young Creators” Provincial Center of Art.

           “Young Creators”. Cubanía Party. Nationality`s House

1993  XVI Territorial Day of Literature and Plastic Arts “Regino Boti”. Guantánamo.

           XIII Edition of the Caribbean Festival. “Plastics of the Caribbean”. Universal Art Gallery. Santiago de Cuba.

           XV Edition of the Caribbean Festival. “Plastics of the Caribbean”. East Gallery. Santiago de Cuba.

           “Over here”. Provincial Center of Art.

           “Painting the Sky”. National Center for the Development of Visual Arts. Havana city.

1988  “Impact”. Space Gallery. Professional School of Art “El alba”. Holguin “City Award”. Provincial Museum Holguin

           “Collective.” Space Gallery. Professional School of Art “El alba.” Holguín.

1987  “Collective”. Space Gallery. Professional School of Art “El alba”. Holguin “City Award”. Provincial Center of Art. Holguin

1986  “Collective”. Space Gallery. Professional School of Art “El alba”. Holguin “Literature in Plastic.” House of Culture Holguin.

Salons

2018  XXXI Provincial Salon “Julio Girona”. UNEAC Chamomile

2017  XXXII Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts and Design. Provincial Center of Art.

           XXX Provincial Salon “Julio Girona”. Provincial Center of Art.

2016  XXIX Provincial Salon “Julio Girona”. UNEAC

2015  XXX Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts and Design. Provincial Center of Art.

           XXVIII Provincial Salon “Julio Girona”. Provincial Center of Art.

2014  XXVII Provincial Salon “Julio Girona”. House `s Culture and UNEAC.

2011  XXVI Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts and Design. Provincial Center of Art.

2010  “2010 East Salon of Visual Arts”. Emilio Bacardí Museum. Santiago de Cuba.

2009  VI Regional Exhibition of Small Format. Central Salon “Miranda” Gallery. Camaguey

2008  Oriente Salon 2008 of Visual Arts. Emilio Bacardí Museum. Santiago de Cuba.

           Provincial Hall of the UNEAC “Julio Girona”. UNEAC Chamomile

2003  XIX Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “December 2”. Provincial Center of Art.

2002  XVI Municipal Salon of Plastic Arts “Manuel del Socorro”. Provincial Center of Art.

2000  Salon “Figuration Critique”. The Defense Paris. France.

1999  XIII Municipal Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “Manuel del Socorro”. Provincial Center of Art.

           XV Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “December 2nd” Provincial Center of Art.

1994  IX Municipal Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “Manuel del Socorro”.

           III Salon Art – Small format mail “Ecology and environment Ramón Rubiera”. Art Gallery. New Peace

           X Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “December 2”. Provincial Center of Art.

1993  VIII Municipal Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “Manuel del Socorro”. Provincial Center of Art.

           IX Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “December 2”. Provincial Center of Art.

1992  VIII Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “December 2”. Provincial Center of Art.

           VI National Salon of Winners. National Museum. Palace of Fine Arts. Havana.

1990  V Municipal Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “Manuel del Socorro”. Provincial Center of Art.

           VI Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “December 2”. Provincial Center of Art.

1989  Provincial Salon. Gallery. Moa. Holguin Cuba.

1987  Salon “Wifredo Lam”. “Wifredo Lam” Gallery. Cacocúm. Holguin.

Awards and mentions

2017  Mention. XXXIII Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts and Design.

2015  Provincial Culture Award. XXXI Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts and Design.

2014  Mention. VIII Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts “Julio Girona”.

2002  Prize. Cuban Fund of Cultural Property. B.F.C. XVI Municipal Hall of Plastic Arts “Manuel del Socorro”.

           Mention. XVI Municipal Salon of Plastic Arts “Manuel del Socorro”

1999  Mention. XIII Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “Manuel del Socorro”.

           UNEAC Award. XIII Municipal Hall of Plastic Arts and Design “Manuel del Socorro”.

1994  Prize. IX Municipal Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “Manuel del Socorro”.

1993  Prize. VIII Municipal Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “Manuel del Socorro”.

           Plastic Arts Award. XIII Territorial Day of Literature and Plastic Arts “Regino Boti”. Guantanamo

           Prize. IX Provincial Hall of Plastic Arts and Design “December 2nd”. Saíz Brothers Association Award. A.H.S. IX Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “December 2”.

1990  Prize. V Municipal Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “Manuel del Socorro”.

           Prize. VI Provincial Salon of Plastic Arts and Design “December 2nd”.

Publications

  • “Backlit” (Illustrations). Magazine of Art and Literature. Year 1. No. 1. January-February 2001.
  • “To meet the lost word”. Orozco Hernández, Iliana. Weekly “La Demajagua”, Saturday October 28, 2000, p. 7.
  • “Heir of the universe” (Interview). Vertex. Cultural supplement of the provincial newspaper “La Demajagua”. February 19, 2000. Year 13. No. 24. Page 4.
  • “Art is not a mere cry to be hung on the wall” (Interview) “The bearded alligator”. Year 33. Edition 300. Page 28 and 29.
  • “South Window”. (Illustrations). Cultural magazine of the Granma province . Year 1. No. 2.

Read More

Critical analysis of his ouevre.

“TO THE ENCOUNTER OF THE LOST WORD”.

Rafael Fuentes Rojas is back. After some time without personal samples, an excellent set of 12 acrylics on cardboard, exhibited in the gallery of the Fund of Cultural Property in the context of the Cuban Citizenship Festival, offer the possibility of a splendid aesthetic experience.

To give us a clear path to the world that nests behind the eyes – the title of the exhibition; Fuentes Rojas reveals an important part of his current vital motivations, of his personal perspective on essences of being as an actor of the Universe, and translates into images his well-known vocation for silence.

The character of closed unity, of a perfect circle in which form and meaning run from one end of the room to the other, without cavities or outbursts, without litter or fatness, is perhaps the most recognizable synonym of a maturity that this artist’s work reflects as mirror of the inner pulsations of his spirituality.

The technical rigor, accustomed and remarkable, accompanies a reflexive proposal around two fundamental aspects: his own biography – in works such as “Clairvoyance”, “Oscillating stillness of memory” and “Self-portrait” -, and matters that reach the existential depths of man, in imposing challenge to the universality of art – present in “Eternal return”, “The lost word”, “Structure of silence” and “The great secret” -, anthological pieces within the set.

Although in the former there is a relationship between intimate memory and the creator’s family and self-view, in a broader social sphere, the latter offer a text of powerful discursive aptitude that becomes the most substantial dish of the sample.

In what unfathomable abysses that word is lost, whose path seems reminiscent of the rose of other times? Is it its irreversible destiny? What structure has silence? What luminous landscape exists and is forbidden to us? Look? How to ignore that simple reason that causes the eternal return to the root? Are some possible coordinates of a prodigal mystery in revelations?

With the entire sobriety that typifies the work of Rafael Fuentes, there is nevertheless space on this occasion, for the ludic resource, ingenious and at the same time philosophical; see if you don’t open like “At the beginning” or “The big secret.” The critical subtlety of “Great Cycle” and “Self-Portrait” refers, meanwhile, to the best invoices of this artist in his moment of continuity to the avant-garde heritage of the 80s.

Its poetic fiber, well used according to the titles, guarantees that these are an essential semantic key in the discourse, granting organicity and dynamism to the images.

Composed from an elaboration of ideas and formal solutions, which show solidity and true knowledge of cause in the craft of art, behind the gaze of Rafael Fuentes Rojas, integrates not a few evidences that confirm it as one of the most voices intoned and promising of the plastic artists´ Granma.

Lic. Iliana Orozco Hernández.

Weekly “La Demajagua”, Saturday October 28th, 2000, p. 7

“ĽÎLE MALICE”

Inevitably, the expressive peculiarities of the lithographic printing system discover the artistic heritage of a precociously imported technique, barely twenty-five years after its discovery in Germany in 1796. Urban landscapes and nineteenth-century customs scenes break into individual memory and once involved in the badly called picturesque pictures of Mialhe, of marked romantic breath, which illuminated we witness the unstoppable progress towards monumental and covert forms in a simulated abstraction, for the sake of reinterpreting.

Overcoming the limitations of lazarillo in periodicals and the first monochrome runs of a purely informative nature, the genre, initially from the French album and the estrangement of the European cartoonist, evolves consistent with the advent of new historical circumstances that finally legitimize their belittled values ​​by Serials Birds of passage would shape the aesthetics of our landscape and popular types while the native artist still took lessons.

The fortuitous encounter of the graphic technique par excellence of the nineteenth century would derive in conceptually and aesthetically Creole artistic tradition from the most varied speeches. And another series of the picturesque Island of Cuba would exhibit its version of the theme at the dawn of the 21st century since the allusive alias, Ľîle malice. An experimental proposal from the complex process of engraving suggestive, voluptuous, exceptionally casual forms on stone. Fuentes Rojas expands the allegorical variants and renounces the recurrent formalism of the erotic theme, relying on the participatory perception of the viewer, and finally helps the reduced support with a contemporary installation. Curved lines accentuate the depth of transfigured motifs in feminine essences veiled by patrimonial prejudices. The hint is allowed, we will penetrate then.

Lic. Indira Abascal Barbán