CubaPLUS Magazine

Mario Garcia Portela Portraits of Woods

By: Ilsa Rodríguez Photos by José Meriño and Courtesy Portela
Mario Garcia Portela Portraits of Woods
<p>Painter since childhood, professor for most of his life and a fine artist always, Mario Garc&iacute;a Portela has dedicated himself to being an exceptional landscape painter, both urban and rural, for the twenty years since he left his teaching job to do so.</p> <p><img alt="Mario Garcia Portela Portraits of Woods" title="Mario Garcia Portela Portraits of Woods" src="/img/articulos/16/10-mario-portela-painter-1.jpg">A great talker, an affable man and a typical Cuban, Garc&iacute;a Portela says that he doesn&rsquo;t paint landscapes, but instead paints portraits of woods, with a singular attraction to trees that he details in depth for the delight of those fortunate to see his work.</p> <p>Born in Pinar del R&iacute;o, the westernmost province of Cuba, outstanding for its beautiful landscape and unrivaled nature, Portela has participated in many exhibitions in the United States (Duluth, Minnesota), Spain (Galer&iacute;a Doble H&eacute;lice in Seville, and in collective exhibits in Madrid) and in Italy, besides those in Cuba. Portela is presently preparing large format paintings for a special exhibition on his 70th birthday in January 2012, using sepia tones and shadows (ocher and white) as well as the acrylic technique he began using in the 1990&rsquo;s.</p> <p><img alt="Mario Garcia Portela Portraits of Woods" title="Mario Garcia Portela Portraits of Woods" src="/img/articulos/16/10-mario-portela-painter-2.jpg">Speaking with Cubaplus, Portela, who has been living in Havana for several years now, said he always carries the landscape of his birthplace, Pinar del R&iacute;o, with him. Images of the Vi&ntilde;ales Valley hills even appear in his urban landscapes. &ldquo;Vi&ntilde;ales is imagination,&rdquo; says Portela.</p>
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