Valera's vision of Cuba


Entrar Valera

Exhibition of works by Reinaldo Hernandez Valera

TAP Gallery, Darlinghurst, until March 16

Art Melbourne 08

Royal Exhibition Centre, Carlton from April 17-20


Cuban painter Reinaldo Hernandez Valera's latest art exhibition Entrar Valera was opened on March 5 at Sydney's TAP Gallery. The colourful and evocative collection of paintings was viewed by a varied gathering of art fans and Cuba supporters who were joined by the Consul General of the Republic of Cuba in Australia, Nelida Hernandez Carmona.

Valera's paintings are a lively snapshot of life in Cuba, comprising portraits of Cuban women and men painted in a caricature style. With vivid colours and strong outlines his subjects often show a weariness of the everyday, sometimes with an iconic Cuban cigar. They each show their character in the exaggerated lines that define their identity.

Many of Valera's paintings on display at TAP Gallery are accompanied by a smaller black and white sketch of a portion of the work, showing perhaps the starting point or inspiration for the painting. The focus could be a gnarled hand, a mouth clenching a cigar or some part of the subject's surroundings.
Valera, who won a national prize for culture in Cuba in 1999, was flown out to Australia for the exhibition presented by Cuban art promoter Cubaust.

On April 9, Valera will be present at the opening of a second event Havana In Black & White With Valera en Vivo at which he will paint a canvas (based on Australian poetry) during the exhibition's duration. This collective exhibition runs until April 21 at The Unmarked Gallery, Old South Head Road, Woollahra, Sydney.

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