Acrylics, oil, water colour, graphite and even spray paint was used to create an explosion of vibrant colours depicting forms of beauty from the imagination of Cuban artist Daniel Méndez Perdomo.
Using the brush, pencil, spatula, and a variety of techniques, the 26-year-old explores beauty, not just conventional, but beauty that can be found in youth, age, cultures, races, nature, elegance, and the female form.
Speaking of his self-named exhibit, his first outside of Cuba, he said he wanted to focus on women because the world focussed on countless problems but not on those who carry the weight of the world with their beauty and love for all. “Women inspire joy, colour and nature. That’s why I make a combination between the face and the body of femininity with birds, water and earth...
“In my work I have always been motivated by social problems, perhaps living with them, where I come from and where I am from. This time I allude to the dual myths of nature and femininity, taking an interest in life by expressing in my works the beauty of it, which many do not see due to the pressure that modern life demands of us.
“Using women as the main code in my works, which is the representation of the embodiment of beauty, the energy of life, being a woman means strength, fighter, helping to grow, life transformer, joy of living, source of life ... I try to reach beyond the boundaries of language, religions or traditions.”
Perdomo has been in TT for several months and the country has been an inspiration for some of the 18 paintings to be exhibited from September 25 at Horizons Art Gallery, Mucurapo Road, St James. In addition to Carnival, and TT’s flora and fauna, he said his main inspirations are his mother, Lourdes, his wife, Lianet, and Cuban painter Maikel Herrera.
At the age of 15, he attended the Professional Academy of Plastic Arts in Las Tunas, Cuba. He explained that after finishing school, the government supports artists but only for work produced in the country. He said although he will continue his work in Cuba, he would never have had the opportunity to exhibit his work and retain the proceeds as he does in TT.
“I had the opportunity to come to TT to demonstrate my talent. Here the doors have opened and I have been able to develop my ideas with graphite, oil and acrylic... It’s my first presentation outside of Cuba. I am proud and happy that it is in a country as beautiful and multicultural as TT is... I have invitations from other countries, especially in the United States, but for now I want to continue maturing my art, improve every day and give TT the talent God gave me."
Perdomo said he hopes to do more in this country and internationally. At the moment, though, he is focussing on improving his art and not money because he loves the work.
“It is difficult for a painter to make a fortune with his work. We who work in this world do it for love and passion, especially with delivery. For now I want to paint and let my imagination fly.”