See Ochoa’s work *here*.
Eddy Ochoa Guzmán might at first appear to be a photorealist, but one can see that his passion for nature supercedes the dehumanizing eye of the camera. He delights in nature and his works convey that love without the cold, unrelenting view of the photorealist. There is no harshness in his work, no severity, but instead an obsession with the lush greenery of Cuba. In fact, Ochoa tells us that he is love with every shade of green.
Ochoa was born in Baracoa and carries with him his childhood recollection of the Yumuri River from the vantage point of Alto de Fuerte, the old Spanish fortress. He recounts that the immense river inspired both love and fear in him. That setting stays as his strongest memory and, even though he moved the images of his birthplace have never faded.
His father was a Rebel Army soldier in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, and when the Revolution triumphed, his family moved to Santiago de Cuba, the capital of what was then Oriente province.
When Ochoa was older, he attended the Fine Arts School in Pinar del Rio which is located in the westernmost province of Cuba. This experience afforded him the opportunity to become acquainted with the exceptional natural beauty of another region. The Viñales Valley, with its fascinating limestone outcroppings, provided fertile ground for tobacco plantations, palms and orchids. Here, Ochoa learned landscape technique from maestro Domingo Ramos. Each day he was able to observe Ramos creating landscapes of the valley. Later, when Ochoa had returned to Santiago, he studied with Armando Rodriguez and acquired more landscape training. Eventually, he studied at José Joaquín Tejada Art School where he found that some scorned landscape painting. Ochoa never lost his passion for it and his efforts were supported by Ferrer Cabello and Aguilera Vincente.
Eventually, Ochoa joined the police force where he used his artistic ability to draw detailed police sketches of criminals. He continues to paint landscapes and says that his work with the police gives him the opportunity to travel throughout Cuba and observe the countryside. He remarks that landscape artists have to look around a lot to commit to memory all of the elements that may help them later on.
One phase of his paintings was conceived while on a trip to the town of Dos Bocas. There Ochoa saw a mountain that looked like a woman’s hair hanging loose, with a background of palm trees. This started the phase in which all of his landscapes were like women with long hair.
Ochoa looks at the landscape from an ecological point of view. He creates very thick foliage with a wealth of greens, bringing it to life, making it look as real as possible, preferring luxuriance to detail. He often includes bodies of water because he feels that water has a matchless beauty and is a source of life. There are no humans in his paintings, but sometimes he paints a road where humans have been to show their zest of life.
Once when Ochoa was hospitalized, he found inspiration for his series of Nocturnos (nocturnal landscapes). While lying there at night, he saw a lighthouse that illuminated one spot in the landscape and felt amazed that man could artificially light up just one part of an otherwise unseen vista. His Nocturnos evolved from this experience. These paintings evoke a sense of restlessness in us despite their apparent tranquility. The restlessness comes from the force of light within the darkness of the landscape. Ochoa searches for light and places it artificially in a spot that seems to come from a mystical place, maybe from behind the viewer, from an unknown place. This gives his Nocturnos a surreal luminosity and makes the paintings fluctuate between realism and mysticism. The charm of this technique lies in achieving the force of light within the darkness of the landscape.
Ochoa says,” Art should fill people with beauty and the freshness of the landscape. In the midst of this violent world we live in, landscapes are a touch of harmony and joy.”
Eddy Ochoa Guzmán – Biografía
(Guantánamo, Cuba – 1952)
Pintor, dibujante and acuarelista autodidáctica, compositor de música infantil
* Nivel medio, Escuela Provincial de Artes de Pinar del Río
* Dos años de estudios en la Escuela Provincial de Artes “José Joaquín Tejada”, Santiago de Cuba
* Miembro de la Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, UNEAC
* Miembro del Proyecto Ecoart-Ecología y Arte de Santiago de Cuba
* 1975: Salón Provincial de Artistas Jóvenes de Santiago de Cuba
* 1976: Primer Salón del Nuevo Paisaje, Santiago de Cuba
* 1977: Segundo Salón del Nuevo Paisaje, Santiago de Cuba
* 1978: Tercer Salón del Nuevo Paisaje, Santiago de Cuba
* 1979: Primer Salón de la Ciudad, Galería Oriente, Santiago de Cuba
* 1980: Segundo Salón de la Ciudad, Galería Oriente, Santiago de Cuba
* 1983: Festival de Origen Caribeño, Santiago de Cuba; Quinto Salón de la Ciudad, Galería Oriente, Santiago de Cuba
* 1985: Festival de la Cultura Caribeña, Santiago de Cuba
* 1987: Salón 30 de Noviembre, Galería de Arte Universal, Santiago de Cuba
* 1988: Salón 30 de Noviembre, Galería de Arte Universal, Santiago de Cuba
* 1989: Salón 30 de Noviembre, Galería de Arte Universal, Santiago de Cuba; Artistas Cubanos en Granada
* 1997: Festival de la Primavera, Bordeaux, Francia
* 1998: Artistas del Taller Cultura, Madrid, España
* 1999: Artistas Cubanos, en el Restaurant Pollyanna, Jamaica
* 2000: Fin del Siglo, Museo Emilio Bacardí, Santiago de Cuba
* 2001: Presencia Infinita, De Bodden Buen Arte, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
* 2002: Grandes Maestros en Pequeños Formatos, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana; Salón de la Ciudad, Galería Oriente, Santiago de Cuba; Artistas Santiagueros, Galería Oriente, Santiago de Cuba
* 2003-2004 Meridian International Center, Washington, D.C.
* 2003-2004 Lighthouse Center for the Arts, Tequesta, Florida
* 1989: Dos Facetas del Paisaje, Biblioteca Elvira Cape, Santiago de Cuba
* 1990: Dos Paisajes, Biblioteca Elvira Cape, Santiago de Cuba
* 1998: Arte y Ecología, Museo Tomás Rumay, Santiago de Cuba
* 2001: Sueños de Medianoche, Museo de las Casas Reales, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
* 2002: Sueños de Medianoche II, De Bodden Buen Arte, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
* 1980: Premio, en el Encuentro Nacional de Arte y Literatura, Matanzas, Cuba; Mención, Concurso 6 de Junio, La Habana, Cuba
* 1981: Premio, Concurso 6 de Junio, La Habana, Cuba; Premio Nacional de Arte y Literatura, Bayamo, Cuba
* 1982: Premio, Concurso 6 de Junio, La Habana, Cuba
* 1983: Premio, Concurso 6 de Junio, La Habana, Cuba
* 1991: Mención, Salón Nacional de Paisaje Emilia Bacardí, Galería Oriente, Santiago de Cuba
* 1996: Mención, Festival Provincial “Cantandole al Sol”, Santiago de Cuba
* 1999: Premio, Festival Provincial “Cantandole al Sol”, Santiago de Cuba; Mención, Festival Nacional “Cantandole al Sol”, La Habana, Cuba
* 2000: Premio Mejor Composición Infantil, Festival Nacional “Cantandole al Sol”, La Habana, Cuba; Premio Popularidad Composición Infantil, Festival Nacional “Cantandole al Sol”, La Habana, Cuba