Carlos Trillo, An Obsessive Abstract Painter
By: Mercy Ramos / Photos by Arturo Suárez Freixas
When speaking of abstract art in Cuba, it is essential to include Carlos Trillo, an artist who is considered one of the country's most outstanding abstract painters.
To cross the threshold of the nearly century-old colonial house on Calzada del Cerro, which serves as both home and workshop for Carlos Trillo in Havana, means to enter a universe of constant search and creative renewal, which we were fortunate to appreciate firsthand.
Born in the Cuban capital, he spent his childhood and adolescence in New York City until his return to Cuba in 1961. From Manhattan he brought his particular vision of Art Informel, which gave way to the professional exercise of visual arts, in particular abstraction and matter painting.
Carlos Trillo's work has been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Cuba and overseas. Regarding his most recent solo exhibition, “Aquí vienen a dar todos los vientos” [Here all the winds let go], held at Villa Manuela Gallery of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, the painter has commented:
“Here all the winds let go”, the series that lent its name to my most recent solo exhibition, is a fragment of a poem by Pablo Neruda, which, in some ways, I associate with my work as I try to reflect on the great conflicts that have shaken man throughout his existence: war, peace, love…as well as the possible extinction of the planet.
And, of course, underlying my work is the passage of time, faithful protagonist of my aesthetic conception.”
Many of Trillo's works are on display in cultural institutions, museums, universities and Cuban diplomatic missions in different countries, as well as in many private collections, including Cuba, USA, Canada, Spain, Mexico, England, China, Syria, Egypt, Cyprus, Italy, Belgium, Germany, France, Japan, Switzerland, Austria, among others.
In the recently concluded 11th Havana Biennial, the most important international event of visual arts in Cuba, which brings together artists from around the world, Carlos Trillo exhibited his works at the abstract group exhibition “De lo vivo a lo Pinta'o” (From the Living to the Painted) at the San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress. The exhibition displayed Cuban abstract art allowing a diverse public the opportunity to appreciate the work that is being created in Cuba by well-known abstract painters and up-and-coming young artists.
When Trillo talks about his future plans, his eyes light up when he says: “My future plans are simple and attainable: to paint and paint and paint.”