Painting Ceramics: An Interview with Eduardo Guevara

By Helson Hernandez

Eduardo Guevara Ojeda at work.

HAVANA TIMES — A highly-experienced visual artist who has decided to go the independent way, Eduardo Guevara tries to evade the limelight and traditional gallery exhibitions. “I believe I was born in a country that is committed to art,” he said during his interview with Havana Times.

HT: How long have you been an artist for?

Eduardo Guevara: Well, I started out within circles interested in visual arts and, later, in 1970, I studied one year at Havana’s San Alejandro Arts Academy. I completed a degree in graphic design and, as a designer, I started out in the world of ceramics with my family. It’s the medium I use most, next to canvas.

HT: When you did you come up with the novel concept of joining painting and ceramics?

EG: In 2003, after I’d just arrived from Spain, I started painting on ceramics, and, using the same technique I use on canvas I started painting on clay.

HT: Have you taken your work outside Cuba?

EG: Yes, my work has been exhibited in Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, France and lately in the US.

HT: Why have you decided to distance yourself from exhibitions and galleries?

EG: There are several reasons, and it would be a long story, but, to summarize and to put it in general terms, the answer is that I have stage fright.

HT: What’s the situation like today for Cuban visual artists?

EG: Well, I believe I was born in a country committed to art and full of artists, in their different manifestations. As for visual arts, which is what I could best comment on, the way will always be clear for one to let one’s imagination soar. Despite this, we are constantly shown those artists the country [cultural authorities] wants to publicize, and, seeing them time and time again, it almost seems as though there’s no one else out there with a brush, or brimming with imagination. They should also show the new faces and the young talents – there’s plenty of very good ones.

HT: Sunflowers are a recurrent motif in your work.

EG: Sunflowers, the Capitolio building and Old Havana, our old town, that even looks elegant with its fading colors, those trees coming out of its roof terraces, those walls with exposed bricks is what I paint most, so that the image of how pretty Havana was and will be won’t leave our minds.

HT: Can you give us some references for those interested in knowing your work, in Cuba or abroad?

EG: I have a gallery-shop that’s currently shut down for repairs and travel plans. It’s located on Zapata Street, between 16 and 18th Streets, in Vedado, Havana. Because I don’t have access to the Internet right now, I can’t update the sites with my paintings. If you type in my complete name in google, you’ll see some of my work.