See more of Rodriguez’s art here.
Alfredo Rodriguez, a self-trained Cuban artist recognized for his landscapes and luminous vistas, grew up on a farm in Reparto Siboney on the outskirts of Bayamo, Cuba. As a child he was immersed in a rural environment, playing amidst the coconut palms and mango trees and fishing in the nearby river. He attributes his love of landscapes to these early experiences.
As Rodriguez grew older, he was able to spend some time at an art school in Bayamo, but he spent more time at the library where he fell in love with the atmosphere, light and color of the Dutch landscape painters. He studied works from the Barbizon School and from Cuban landscape artists. He particularly admired the romantic style of Esteban Chartrand and the realism of Valentín Sanz Carta. Rodriguez feels that his use of color and emotion falls somewhere between that of these two artists.
Rodriguez’s draws his color style from the Barbizon School. He says, “I am in love with ochre, sienna and brown. The colors of oil paints, as they come out of the tube, do not exist in nature, not with such total purity. They need to be grayed up. I’m very strong on certain colors and a certain kind of light. I don’t paint many landscapes at noon, but rather at mid-morning. I also like to paint in late afternoon because there’s an element of magic at that time. When the sun starts going down, the clouds are still red but begin to take on a little ochre. At that moment, there is such a wide range of shades, so rich and picturesque that it’s incredible. The trees change from the bright green of mid-day and there is an array of nuances more suited to my spirit. I am a quiet man; I like tranquility, solitude, meditation. I like to sit in a corner with a book, reading and painting. I like to hide from the world. You have to dig deep in order to paint and bear witness to that powerful force that every human being carries inside, and that can only be done in solitude.”
Rodriguez’s luminous works are inspired by the sunsets. Through the positioning and layering of colors and pigments, his skies give back the drama of the sun’s rays illuminating the clouds, the imposing trees, the roofline of a bohío, or the backs of homeward bound sheep. His skies recall for us the mystery and magic of every unforgettable sunset. His luminous paintings take the viewer into that moment of calm, immense beauty that occurs just before the world falls dark.
Rodriguez’s landscapes are inspired directly from nature and from his love of the land. He tells us that he often goes into the countryside to make sketches of trees and the simple huts called bohíos. He says, “There’s no canon for painting bohíos. If you paint a bohío in a professional manner, some will say it’s not realistic, but if you go to the countryside, you will find bohíos of all kinds: some made of palm thatching, or of palm tree planks, or adobe, or of raw clay, and even of woven grasses. There is a huge variety.”
He seeks out the oldest trees for his paintings, the ones that seem to talk and are covered with moss. He feels that these ancient ones represent the resilience of nature, its ability to withstand everything. These old trees represent part of Rodriguez’s philosophy of life and his strong connection to the land. They impart a sense of stability and tranquility to his works.
Rodriguez frequently includes both people and animals in his works. He says, “I like the campesino, with a hoe in his hand. I try to include a human figure in the landscape because I enjoy places that have the human touch. It removes the bleakness found in unsettled and uncivilized areas and gives the viewers of my paintings a point of identity. Animals do the same thing because, without them, the landscape would not be complete.” So, there is always some token of humanity to be found in Rodriguez’s landscapes, an oxcart, a bridge, a bit of broken wall to remind us that man has an irrevocable tie to the land which, for Rodriguez, manifests itself in a deep passion meticulously transferred to canvas.
Alfredo Cecilio Rodríguez Cedeño – Biografía
De formación autodidáctica, hizo algunos cursos como aficionado en la Casa de Cultura de su ciudad natal y recibió enseñanzas de los profesores de la escuela de artes plásticas Manuel del Socorro Rodríguez de Bayamo.
Aunque trabaja casi todas las temáticas, su línea principal y que más se ha distinguido es el paisaje; paisaje campesino de marcado acento naturalista donde el artista enfatiza en los tipos y costumbres del campesinado cubano, logrando así conjugar tradición y realidad. También ha incursionado en el tema ecológico y medioambiental, además de participar en las jornadas cucalambeanas de Las Tunas.
Junto a su hermano, también artista plástico, conforman un importante nucleo pictórico paisajista de la provincia Granma, participando de manera asídua en los salones y eventos municipales y provinciales.
Ha obtenido premios y menciones municipales, provinciales y nacionales.
Este joven artista, con sólo 30 años de edad y 15 dedicados a la plástica, cuenta con cuatro expos personales y cerca de veinte colectivas. En el 1999 integró una expo colectiva titulada “El fenome cubano” en la galería de arte de Asheville, Carolina del Norte, en los Estados Unidos.
Domina la pintura, el dibujo, grabado, cerámica y las artes aplicadas.
Actualmente vive y trabaja como artista independiente en Bayamo.