Harold Marín and the art of invoking metals
BY YELENA RODRÍGUEZ VELÁZQUEZ, PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
Shaping pieces of copper, hammering, and tying up pieces of leather led to Harold Marín’s vocation for the visual arts, now his profession and outlook on life.
As a child with his father, his world was that creative workshop and his dreams were reflected on cardboard with watercolor, driven then by ingenuity, spontaneity, bright colors and improvisational strokes.
With time, Marín learned painting techniques, with creative hunger, also working with iron, bronze, copper and wood, listening to every criticism and facing the fear of the complicated path of not having an art school education.
It was his tenacity that led, in April 2010, to his first personal exhibition: Pollution.
On that occasion he used works such as “Human stupidity” “Tank full” or “Rotten tree”, where he expressed his anger and helplessness at the attitudes of human beings toward the environment.
“It was a work of criticism of environmental pollution, my viewpoint of the way we treat the world, as if it were disposable, the mistreatment of animals and forests,” Harold recalled fondly. According to what he told CubaPLUS Magazine, that has been a recurring theme in his artistic discourse, which has also been based on expressionism and abstractionism, with no specific reference.
Other opportunities appeared later, not only in Cuba but also in countries like Canada, Italy and the United States, where he presented several personal and collective exhibitions, the last one in Miami in February 2020.
The exhibition, he recalled, was titled Social Sickness and consisted of a selection of four works that attempted to analyze the disease of social networks.
It was a critique of young people’s use of cell phones; how they have replaced looking at each other’s faces directly for doing it through the cell phone screen, thereby losing the most elementary human values in exchange for likes, he explained.
However, in these times of isolation due to COVID-19, social networks have been the opportune space for artists to visualize their work, reflect and send a message of hope to people.
“Now we take refuge in digital platforms to express ourselves. It has become a very useful tool to promote my art, taking advantage of its relative gratuity and the reach of a greater number of users and potential clients,” he added.
Marín has not been oblivious to the issue of social confinement and its trials and tribulations. But the artist does not let his hands rest and is determined to create. In his work is the reflection of his time, more reflective works, more dramatic, and more muted colors.
His favorite time for creation the early morning. His most used technique: mixed media. The predominant colors: red, sienna, white, black and grey. The present subject matter: varied, reflecting social evils such as environmental pollution, racism, gender violence, homophobia...
The muse is reborn in the spray of acrylic drips and spatulas of oil, in his hands that have become brushes, in the mixture of iron with wires, fabrics and various paints and in the interior design with an eminently minimalist concept.
And there, in that space of ingenuity, the child who once inhabited it returns. Molding iron, conjugating formless metals and giving life to metaphysical characters and non-existent structures still has a special place.