Eladio Reyes: “Fear? – of what?”

Irina Echarry, photos: Caridad

Photo by Eladio Reyes

HAVANA TIMES, Feb. 10 — Those who knew Eladio Reyes say he was versatile person. He studied the theatrical arts, specializing in theatricalism and dramaturgy. He acted, as well as wrote scripts, stories, essays, chronicles, children’s books and an original poetry with fine humor and an urban philosophy.

This is why it’s no surprise that the Casa de la Poesía (House of Poetry) located at 63 Muralla, in Old Havana) welcomes an exhibition of another of his passions: photography.

Deprived of his sense of sight as a teenager, Eladio was a photographer of reality as he experienced it.  He expressed his feelings with humility:

Photo by Eladio Reyes

“Fear? – of what?  I’ve always been a man rich in deprivations.  When I paint, some people say I’m crazy, others that I’m not able to.  And when I fill the canvas with my own quirky slip ups, there —in the most profound depths— I ask: Did nature present abstractionism to the world with the first blind person?”

Eladio's Braille machine.

The exhibition also includes one of the old cameras he used for his work, a handkerchief that he always wore on his head (as if it covered him with good ideas), and the Braille machine with which he wrote.

Along with the photos and the few portraits that are exhibited, there also appears descriptive information in Braille, along with a poster of his that recommends: “Please touch, don’t stop touching.”

His interpretation of the world that surrounded him is reflected in the photos: a street sweeper, a pumpkin, friends, family, Havana tenements and children.  “If you don’t dominate the light and the non-light that nature offers you, you’ll never understand the greatness of photography.”

This photographer did not omit the simple details of life or to penetrate into its essence.  He was a man who drank from the fountains of spirituality and from the religiosity of what is Cuban.

The exhibit “Un día más en el arte de los cuatro sentidos (one more day in the art of the four senses), which speaks to us of the thought and work of Eladio Reyes Aryans, will be showing until March 5, 2010.

Click on the thumbnails to view all the photos