Mariano Rodriguez, Cuban (1912 - 1990)

“Mariano” was born in Havana in 1912. Since boyhood, he was interested in drawing and painting. In 1936 he went to Mexico where he studied for a year and a half with the muralists Manuel Rodriguez Lozano and Pablo O’Higgins. When he returned to Cuba his technique bore a close resemblance to that of the modern Mexican masters. In 1938 his painting “UNIDAD” received top honors at the National Exhibit of Painting and Sculpture in Havana.

Mariano is part of that generation of Cuban artists who felt the urgency to break with the influences of the Academics. Constantly and tirelessly in search of a vehicle by which to express his personality in the context of a truly “Cuban” expression, in 1941 he started to elaborate on his theme of the roosters. In the early 40’s he was influenced by the great European masters, especially Picasso and Matisse; in 1967 he started his series of “Fruit and Reality”; in 1980 he began the series of the “Masses”, and in the mid eighties, the final “Feast of Love”. Through it all he faithfully continued to strive for essentially “Cuban” elements, the most consistent of which was the virility of the rooster, master of the domestic patio: in every one of his phases Mariano painted a rooster.

His work is owned, among others, by the following museums: Guayaquil University, Ecuador; Cali, Colombia; Mexico City; Havana; Managua, Nicaragua; San Francisco; MOMA New York; Kansas City; Caracas; Buenos Aires, Argentina; the Chicago Art Institute; and UNESCO, Paris.


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