Armando Mariño is one of the most popular Cuban contemporary artists, known for paintings that are characterized by the luminous colors like yellow, green, pink and orange, alongside with balanced note of dark shadows. Moving from one city and landscape to another has influenced his artistic focus, by putting the figure and the natural environment in the center of his curiosity, exploration, and inspiration. The imagery in Armando’s work is usually part of media reports about everyday social issues like refugees, war, economy crisis, and ecology that he stands out of the crowd at one point, and later incorporates in his art. Painting with oil and watercolors on paper is the preparatory step towards the creation of the final product that is embodied in large-scale canvases. The essential element of his artwork is color, a medium through which the painting itself is expressed.
Armando Mariño’s Life Journey
Armando Mariño was born in Santiago, Cuba in 1968, where he got interested in art as a very young boy. Despite the fact he is coming from a family of scientist and his mother’s plans, he followed his artistic path and dreams. Between 1980-1987 he attended Escuela Provincial de Arte “Joaquín Tejada” in Santiago, and from 1987-1992 he studied at the Facultad de Educación Artística del Instituto Superior Pedagógico “Enrique José Varona” in Havana. Here Armando learned to paint, sculpt and draw from skilled teachers, and expanded his awareness of contemporary art theories and concepts. The artist also got educated at the prestigious Rijksakademie van Beldeende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 2004-2005.
Despite the fact he is coming from a family of scientist, he followed his artistic path and dreams
All the Catchy Images as Inspiration
The news, daily life, the landscapes, and pictures on the internet are some of the things that draw Mariño’s attention and influence his creativity. The scenery of palm trees, forests, mountains and open waters that were taken during artist’s trips from Netherlands and France to New York’s Hudson Valley are used as a starting point in his work, and yet the end result actually represents the manipulation of the ‘found material’. The digital aspect that Armando implements to his art opens new narratives to the viewers and leaves them with a reconstructed composition that has lost reference to the initial sense of the picture. Each of his paintings is build up with multiple layers of a strong, vivid, intense, and fluorescent palette of oil or watercolors. Series of artworks like New Paintings from 2016 and The Year of Protesters from 2012 are directly connected to social unrests such as Arab Spring, protests, and rebellion, and show the violent and conflict touch of Armando’s motivation.
The end result actually represents the manipulation of the ‘found material’
Honors and Exhibtions
Armando Mariño’s artistic capacity and talent are highly appreciated in all parts of the world. He had the honor that his work was a part of such notable collections as the one at the Coca-Cola Foundation, the Deutsche Bank, De Nederlandsche Bank and many more. He participated in solo and group exhibitions at galleries and museums in Paris, Copenhagen, Ontario, and Madrid.
He lives and works in New York, USA.
Featured image: Armando Mariño – Portrait
All images courtesy of the artist