Robaina's plantation

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Niels Jenri Reyes Cadalso (Cuban Artist) Havana

                 I had seen this artist's paintings hanging on a wall in a hotel in Havana but it wasn't until I saw an article posted on one of my favourite Cuban related websites that I decided to try to meet him. This visit took place this past January. It isn't difficult at all to meet an artist in Cuba, no matter how important he may be. Although Niels is young and not as well known as some of the older and more important artists of Cuba, he's a rising star who's becoming quite popular in his own right. I sent him an email and he was happy to meet with me on my next trip to Havana. We met at his studio in the Vedado district of Havana.
                  He was born October 9, 1977, in Santa Clara, where important battles took place during the revolution and where the Museum of Che Guevara now stands. He came to Havana in the year 2000. He's married and at the time of this meeting had become a father 3 months earlier. If you look around his studio it's very obvious he's quite proud of that fact. He's always liked painting, ever since he was a child. His teachers in elementary school were always telling him he was good enough to pursue the craft. He enjoyed the independence that being an artist gave him. Once in Havana he studied at the 'Instituto Superior de Arte' and graduated in 2006.
                  When asked if his art has changed over the years, he answered; It's always changing, it's the way I express my state of mind which is forever evolving. He never completes a painting in one sitting. He always has several pieces in various stages of completion as you can see from the photos below. He will return to the paintings several times as his mood changes and add layers to the canvas until he's satisfied. It took him 5 months to finish his favourite painting.
                   I asked him if he's ever thought of leaving Cuba....but why would he, it's his homeland after all and he does pretty good for himself. For his age he's already traveled quite extensively showing his Art at Exhibits all over the world (Spain, Canada, Switzerland, Mexico, Finland, Egypt, United States, Germany and Italy) and throughout Cuba, he has no desire to leave his country.
                   Although I really like his art (but I know nothing about art) it isn't always well received abroad. At his Exhibit in Switzerland he sold everything but in Vienna and Madrid he didn't sell a piece. His best buyers and where he does most of his business is by foreigners right in Havana.
                    It was a pleasure meeting this talented young man, only 38 years old. I believe he will have a long and prosperous career. I wish him all the best and just hope he remembers me the next time I see him when he's famous. The pictures below were taken in his studio in Vedado, an apartment in a decent part of the city. I used to rent an apartment just down the road. Below is his contact information as well as his website.

Hombre Nuevo III

Niels the Artist

Self Portrait

Sueno del Joven Karpov


La inquietud en la calma

Baby Face

Hechizo de Luna II

Los Suenos de La Razon

Bajo el Sol


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