While Mariano Rodríguez honed his painting skills in international art hubs like Mexico City and New York, his heart and inspiration always resided in his homeland. Influenced by artistic giants such as Diego Rivera and Paul Cézanne, Mariano Rodríguez, as he preferred to be known, embarked on a unique artistic exploration.
Mariano’s oeuvre encompassed a wide array of international art styles, including Cubism and Abstract Expressionism. These styles served as a means to delve into the everyday motifs of Cuban existence—fruits, flowers, fishing boats, and villagers. He ingeniously forged a visual language that was intrinsically Cuban, reflecting the essence of his native land.
Mariano played a pivotal role in leading a generation of artists who shared a common goal: the construction of a distinct Cuban national identity through art. Iberia Pérez González, a curator at Miami’s Pérez Art Museum, emphasizes the significance of this mission. In August, the Pérez Art Museum is set to host the inaugural retrospective of Mariano’s work in the United States. Pérez González believes that a new generation of artists will have the opportunity to draw inspiration from the captivating sights that once enthralled Mariano.
Mariano’s own words encapsulate his profound connection to Cuba: “It is Cuba that attracts me. The Cuba of Light, baroque form, and color that I desire.” His artistic legacy remains a testament to his unwavering dedication to elevating the ordinary aspects of Cuban life and weaving them into the intricate fabric of the nation’s identity.