Roldán Lauzán, speaking of his “redemption” in Portugal

/ 1 June, 2018

Taking advantage of a trip by artist Roldán Lauzán to Madrid during a tour he made of Europe on the occasion of his presence in the Art Madrid ’18 Fair in the Spanish capital and of the inauguration last March of his personal exposition titled Redemption in the Nuno Sacramento Gallery in Ilhavo, Portugal, I interviewed the artist about his opinions of art in Cuba today, his artistic influences, his new series and also about his spiritual and religious search.

The Nuno Sacramento Gallery, where Roldán’s personal exposition was presented, was inaugurated in 2003 and every year it presents some six personal expositions by Portuguese and international artists, among other events. Roldán Lauzán’s exposition was part of that project of presentation of international artists.

The Nuno Sacramento Gallery is the continuator of the many years of work that in his day was started by the great lover of Cuban art and enthusiast of Cuban culture José Sacramento, who was responsible for displaying many Cuban artists for the first time in Portugal.

Roldán’s work had already interested the Spanish public when it was presented in 2017 and in 2018 during the Art Madrid Fair. (…)

Roldán Lauzán’s career has followed a path that is not common for Cuban artists of recent generations, While the artist received an intermediate-level artistic education, since he graduated from the Eduardo Abela Academy of Fine Arts of San Antonio de los Baños, in Havana province at that time, he wasn’t able to continue his studies in the Higher Institute of Art because at that time his first son was born and he had to start working to maintain the family he had formed.

That is how he found himself making illustrations for children’s books for the Gente Nueva publishing house, which is the one specializing in the publication of books for children, young people and adolescents in Cuba. It was in that publishing house where he received La Edad de Oro Prize for the illustrations he did for the book Alicia en el país de las maravillas (Alice in Wonderland) (…).

The artist also vindicates in his formation the passage through the workshops of other artists for whom he was an assistant and who allowed him to learn a great deal. For Roldán the workshops of Rubén Alpízar and Reynerio Tamayo were a school from which he vindicates the influence they had on his conception of art and the creator’s work, since they are not just restless artists but they have also not given in to the conception of their work.

For this exposition in Portugal the artist presented his already well-known series Hierofantes with which he considers he is reaching the end of a stage. (…) This series was made with the idea of being able to express his opinion about what art is with an aesthetics that would visually attract attention.

As to the new series he presented in Portugal, Sanctorum (the holy place), it has to do with his position with respect to art at present. The artist vehemently defends what he calls genuine art, which is why he decided to do these works that have a significant component of craft work and that require a high level of skill and dominion of the technique (…).

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