“Manzanillo Cuba has a brilliant, intense light. It never stops, even in the shade.” The man who made this statement was born and has lived in the blinding clarity of the Caribbean Sea that illuminates this two hundred year old city.
Ruben Manuel Beltrán Guerra describes his artistic style as that of a realist. When we examine his paintings of his birthplace and his home, the city of Manzanillo, an old fishing village on the Caribbean Sea, we can see the veracity of his word. Beltrán has an intimate relationship with Manzanillo and is particularly interested in preserving a record of the original Cuban architecture found there. This dedication gives his paintings a sense of conviction; they wear their nationality openly. When we view them, we can be in no other place but Cuba.
(Read the rest of the bio at the bottom of the page)
Prices are for giclee on canvas.
“Naturaliza Gestando” 16×30 O/C (1998) Original-SOLD
C3BT1-“Naturaliza Gestando”-16 x 31-$250.00
“Valle de Vinales” 39×32 O/C -Available
C4BT4-“Valle de Viñales”-39 x 32-$575.00
C4BT4S-“Valle de Viñales”-24 x 20-$240.00
“Ciudad Viejo” 41×32 O/C -Available
C4BT5-“ Ciudad Viejo”-42 x 32-$575.00
C4BT5S-“ Ciudad Viejo”-24 x 18-$220.00
“Mi Viejo Pueblo II” 32”x22” O/C Original-SOLD
“Mi Viejo Pueblo” 33×24 O/C Original-SOLD
C5BT6-“Mi Viejo Pueblo”-27 x 20-$280.00
C5BT6S-“Mi Viejo Pueblo”-24 x 18-$220.00
“Mi Barrio” 30×21 O/C Original-SOLD
C6BT8-“Mi Barrio”-28 x 20-$280.00
C6BT8S-“Mi Barrio”-24 x 18-$220.00
“Trinidad” 33×23 O/C Original-SOLD
C7BT9“Trinidad”-33 x 23-$475.00
C7BT9S-“Trinidad”-24 x 17-$220.00
“Mi Viejo Barrio III” 33×23 O/C (2000) Original-SOLD
C8BT10-“ Mi Viejo Barrio #3-33 x 23-$475.00
C8BT10-“ Mi Viejo Barrio” #3-24 x 17-$220.00
“Mi Viejo Barrio IV” 39×29 O/C Original-SOLD
C8BT11-“ Mi Viejo Barrio #4-39 x 29-$475.00
C8BT11-“ Mi Viejo Barrio #4-24 x 18-$220.00
“Cementerio de Barcos” 30×50 O/C Original-SOLD
C8BT12-“Cementario de Barcos”-30 x 50-$575.00
C8BT12-“Cementatio de Barcos”-18 x 30-$250.00
“Casa de Campo” 23×33 O/C (2003) Original-SOLD
C9BT13-“Casa de Campo”-23 x 33-$380.00
C9BT13S-“Casa de Campo”-18 x 24-$220.00
“Entre el Cielo y el Mar” 23×33 O/C (2004) Original-SOLD
C10BT14-“Entre el Cielo y el Mar”-25 x 35-$340.00
C10BT14S-“Entre el Cielo y el Mar”-18 x 24-$220.00
C3BT3-“La Plazita de Mi Barrio”-19 x 28-$275.00 Original-Available
C3BT3S-“ La Plazita de Mi Barrio”-18 x 24-$260.00
Beltrán describes Manzanillo as having a clear, vibrant light that defies even the shadows. He lets the viewer walk in that light as he traverses the streets of his neighborhood. He shows us the blistering heat and the turbulence of the afternoon sky as the thunderheads build, and, above all, he shows us Manzanillo.
When Beltrán paints, he goes to the location at several different times of day to study the light and to make sketches. He finds that he discovers different things even if he has seen the location a thousand times before. Then he is ready to create his image and record the details of Cuban architecture: the windows decorated with wrought iron, the cobblestone streets and the red tile roofs that mark the beauty of the old Cuba which he feels must be preserved.
Beltrán also preserves the reality of Cuba’s lush vegetation in his painting. He remembered, when he was at school, examining the works of the great masters and being disturbed by their treatment of foliage. It all looked the same. There had been no effort made to truthfully represent the leaves on the various trees and bushes. Beltrán makes a point of examining each plant for its specific characteristics in form, color and texture, so the viewer can easily differentiate between a mango tree and an avocado tree simply by looking at the leaves.
His dream is of a perfect city – one that would lie somewhere between Santiago de Cuba and Manzanillo, and he represents this dream city in one of his canvases. It is a surrealistic place where the buildings spring spontaneously from the land without regard to nearby structures. The streets run up and down in an erratic fashion. Even though this composition is charged with a vibrant energy, the viewer still senses Beltrán’s pervasive sense of calm.
Beltrán’s landscapes are infused with a sense of tranquility. He permits the viewer to momentarily see through his eyes. His compositions are perfectly organized with diagonals that reinforce the sense of balance. They present us with a reflection or imitation of reality, as if we were holding up a mirror to the scene.
Ruben Manuel Beltrán Guerra – Biografía
Artista autodidáctica, Beltrán ha superado muchos obstáculos. A pesar de que su educación formal es limitada, es un observador perspicaz.
Desde niño, ha pasado horas mirando la naturaleza – en la playa, mirando todos los colores del mar y su fauna; en un viaje a La Habana por tren, viendo el paisaje cambiante hasta que le dolieron los ojos; o en la noche, observando las estrellas desde la azotea. Su objetivo es capturar la naturaleza en sus paisajes.
Para Beltrán, la pintura es una manifestación de todo el amor que siente para Dios, el ser humano y la naturaleza. “El bosquejo es como un recien nacido, y yo lo alimento, lo crío, hasta que crezca y se hace adulto, que es la obra de arte terminada.” Ese gran apego con sus obras es lo que le hace a Beltrán tan difícil despedirse de sus pinturas para venderlas.