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Reynier Llanes: Arts is a whim

Magical realism and attractive technique are combined in the pictorial compositions of this young Cuban artist.

10 de agosto de 2017 - By Lester Upierre Rodríguez

One of the latest catalogues I reviewed describes his work as "a delight to see”. He also says that "his artwork intensifies with the techniques used by the   Renaissance masters in Italy” and he adds further foward that the link "with his agricultural life is evident in his work since it shows him how he works with the mysterious and changing structure of nature”.

That's a scholar's perception. Mine, as a journalist and consumer of arts, especially after sharing and talking with Reynier Llanes, considers him a sort of passionate discoverer and reinventor of his art; someone who  challenges himself and overcomes with his brushstroke.

“I'm an everyday painter. I consider myself a reporter of my own work, I like to represent current moments, things I'm interested in life”, comments this artist originally from Pinar del Río, for who the landscape of this Cuban region has highly influenced in his further work.

Graduated in 2004 as Art Instructor, Reynier has been acknowledged by the American public, after having exhibited his artworks in several art galleries and museums in Colorado, Indiana, South Carolina and Florida.

If he's asked about the trends of his works, the answer will be magic realism, because, despite having a primal period where Surrealism played an important role, we should not speak in these terms, since he has always worked on predetermined ideas. “I think that Surrealism has a lot to do with the subconscious, the inward expression of the being, and I've mostly conceived my works around a theme. Now, I have simplified the forms a big deal, as regards to human figures and taverns, looking for the exact topic I want to reflect in my work”, he points out.

Whether oil, watercolor or coffee (this latter being one of his most attractive conceptions), the artist sees his work as a dream, and although he's representing reality, he does this metaphorically. Light has always been a challenge for him, when he discovered the work of Spanish painter, Joaquín Sorolla at the Cuban Museum of Fine Arts. “Since Arts is a whim, I became infatuated in learning how to make a work where light was highly important” he comments.

Furthermore, a certain cinematic glance gains strength in Reynier Llanes' paintings, when perceiving, like a photograph of the Seventh Art, he's much more interested in handling the directions, angles and light displays to bring them to the paintings.

By 2010 he developed a coffee sequence, which became popular by the unconventional nature of the material; however, he rather likes to see it by its content. “Since the very beginning, this artwork refers very much to this magic composition, where we find floating characters, a thicker metaphor as compared to the oil painting”, especially focused on a sense of longing toward his homeland.

His work has served as basis for his latest paintings, and, in spite of the similarities between his yesterday paintings and today paintings, we
may notice an evolution. With   Marble Trace, a sequence totally in oil,
having a wartercolor base, Reynier is not so much interested in the person's feature: “either the person's portrait, even the character in the works, takes a second place, because he's not interested in the person's physical traits, but the work's intent. The onlooker may catch the story, while perceiving the technique, impasto, light, movement and colors”.

He has not yet exhibited his artworks in Cuba, but considers that “the human being is the foundation of his future, and I"ve always dreamed of the possibility of exhibiting my works at the Fine Arts Museum. This is my country, and I'd like to know what Cubans think about my artwork and how it links to the universal codes, bring those stories to the Caribbean Archipelago”, he states.

Bodegón -Tavern- will be Reynier Llanes' upcoming artwork, having a preferrence for the human figure, “becoming the core, sometimes hidden, of the stories. It is not a traditional tavern; behind it, there is a story, that may be a chat about gender or the origin of life through an apple caught in a bucket of melted ice”. Perhaps this natural entertainment opens Reynier's steps in his country.

Though he admits he may be reiterative in some of his symbolisms, we perceive a wide diversity of topics. “The artist I am changes and educates along time. As I adapt to new places, I know new people and get interested in new themes, I acquire different prospects of life and implement them in my work”, he finished.

Conceptually speaking, Reynier Llanes believes we are our own mirror of what we may express, live and experience in life. That's how he conceives his artwork.

Reynier Llanes gives brushstrokes to his work Evolution, one of the coffee artwork sequences

Retrospective of my uncle Chei, by Reynier Llanes, one of the coffee artwork sequences

The Kingdom, by Reynier Llanes, one of the coffee artwork sequences

"I consider myself a reporter of my work, I like to represent current moments, things I am interested in" commented Reynier Llanes during an interview

“People are the foundation of my future, and I've always dreamt of exhibiting my works at the Cuban Museum of Fine Arts", said Reynier Llanes

Black Pearl, by Reynier Llanes, one of the artworks of Marble Trace catalogue

Dancing to Eleggua, by Reynier Llanes, one of the artwokrs of Marble Trace catalogue

Where did you grow up, by Reynier Llanes, one of the artworks of Marble Trace catalogue

Yolanda, by Reynier Llanes, one of the artworks of  Marble Trace catalogue