Yovanis González Elizalde: The Magic of Rembrandt
BY MARLEN BORGES, PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
With passion overflowing, Yovanis González Elizalde today immortalizes every moment of his work, consisting of a wide range of themes boasting a play of lights and shadows inspired by Rembrandt, one of the great masters of the visual arts of the seventeenth century.
Aware that images are a legacy of our history, the young creator was captivated by the work of the Dutch painter and printmaker, which he considered magical. “The light and shade effects, that mystery fascinates me in my photographs. For me, black and white give me the feeling of piercing my soul, perhaps that has determined my own style, the thing that makes the difference in my work.”
Although the artist has not yet defined a genre that identifies him completely, and he photographs landscapes, the footprint of man, current affairs, among other things, portraits and the female figure feed his creativity to a great extent.
“In my opinion, women are demigods, they are unique, beautiful, sensitive, capable of carrying workloads, emotions.... I try to highlight feminine beauty but not with make-up, I think they are naturally beautiful without needing that. I don’t rule out male models because I’ve had good results, but it’s boring to decipher them. On the other hand, when a woman realizes that she can trust you, she gives you many things”.
For the creator, portraiture is one of the most complex styles in photography, because finding the exact moment to do it is very complicated. “When you portray a person, you don’t just capture their beauty or their physique, there is the spiritual side, what they are thinking or what is going through their head at that moment, that’s what you photograph”.
Another subject he is passionate about is reportage, and that’s where his book Huellas de una nación stands out, a graphic album on the process of making cigars.
“It was a tremendous experience to be able to document this work of art because for me Cuban tobacco is as important as the most famous painting in the world.”
Yovanis, who worked as a physical education teacher and on the radio, discovered the world of images as a hobby, photographing people, in whom he found the reward of gratitude. This made him cling to a dream that became a reality, thanks, in large part, to the support of his wife, model for many of his creations.
“I believe that the support of the family in these important decisions is crucial to be able to undertake a career like this, where you have to leave everything you prepared for and start from scratch in such a competitive world. Today I already have my own studio where I can create my projects more comfortably”.
His professional training is based on his studies at the School of Creative Photography in Havana and the José Martí International Institute of Negación. From the series Entre sombras. Photograph printed on Journalism, in addition to his constant and daily 63 learning, which includes the work of other graphic artists.
“Raul Corrales and Alfredo Sarabia, I think they are my references, I identify with them, and of my contemporaries, I would say Pepe Castro and Abiney Barrios”.
The artist’s works have been shown in different national galleries and abroad, in countries such as Mexico, England, United States, Spain, among others. The most recent exhibition, Metamorfosis, was presented virtually in Scotland, on January 14, organized by Art Gallery 514.
“In the short term, I have the project Naufragios, where I deal with the theme of nature and the imprint of the human being. Here I look for saturated elements, anchored by the passage of time and manipulated by man, and the consequences. In the long term, I plan to continue creating art, taking it to every corner I can.
“The advice for other colleagues who are starting out... don’t stop pursuing your dreams, there is only one life and the world is so big that there is not enough time to photograph every moment. It is a long career but you should not be afraid, I left everything for it and I continue to fight for this beautiful art”.
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