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CUBAN PAINTER MISAEL LOPEZ



CUBAN PAINTER MISAEL LOPEZ

A little over three years ago portraits began to appear on the wall of buildings in Havana’s Playa neighborhood. Huge murals of children’s faces, their eyes and hair shining in the sun. They look real, you can almost hear them talking and laughing, the best ones seem to jump off the wall and stare back at you! Misael’s hands are magical. What is most surprising is how fast he paints his children.

Misael Lopez was just another plastic-arts professor in Havana in 2014 when he decided to paint a girl’s face on the wall of a neighbor’s house. That is how it all started, and there are now about forty of these giant portraits all over Havana. From Buenavista to Vedado, el Cerro to Central Havana.

Are the children real? Definitely! He takes photos of children throughout Havana, with their parents’ consent, and then he brings them to life in extra-large scale. He says he was inspired by a famous quote of Cuban poet and independence organizer Jose Marti, “Children are the hope of the world.”

He paints in a city of pedestrians, workers, where everyone sweats, where sometimes people lose hope. But then you see one of those angelical faces, usually looking up, and they give you hope.

At a time when the art world is dominated by abstract paintings, Lopez prefers realism, a preference that has marked his work since his days as a student at Havana’s San Alejandro Arts School.

On 70th Street right before 19th Avenue in Playa you will find one his colossi. He works with oils and acrylics, in black and white, and somehow, they turn out life like. If you want to see all his paintings, put on a good pair of sneakers and start walking around Havana!

By Dina GomGar


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