Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba


Art turned into love (+photos)

Gloria Machado León 12 mayo, 2010

For those who creation has become their raison d’être from a long time ago, there are no limits for imagination.

To turn a piece of fabric, a piece of land or pile of dry wood into a work of art is one of the features of this old man from Matanzas, who is already over his 60´s, his name is Roberto  Carlos Tápanes Tápanes.

“People say I was born to be an artist, I truly believed it. And so it is that I have been my whole life working on different art manifestations, and I think, what I have done so far is not that bad”.

When love is added to any act of creation, for sure the result will be quality. Working on the radio and theater simultaneously was a great school for Roberto Carlos as well as for lots of people who continue working on the radio nowadays.

When he was asked about the significance of “La colombina de Macario” in this period, he couldn’t hold a smile or tell funny story.

“That was a boom… we did more than 80 productions of that theatrical comedy of entanglement… I will tell more, just some days ago during an activity, I was very surprised by the people that while laughing and telling jokes they were mentioning “la columbina de Macario”, you can see how it marked not only my life but some other people who also enjoyed it.”

From the dramatic art and the broadcasting, to painting and making models were Roberto’s loves in his life.

“that’s another story. Though I loved and enjoyed what I did, there was something inside me telling me that I could do more… it was then when I had the opportunity to make the first model, the one that represents the Health Complex, here in Matanzas”.

The model of the Health Complex of Matanzas city with an excellent taste, a delicate care, and a great love, was finished in 1990. It represents the “Commandant Faustino Perez” Hospital, the medical Science University, the poli-technical school of medicine and the hospital for people suffering from AIDS.

Model of the Health Complex of Matanzas city

“I think the novel thing of these models is that I had never known how to make them…so I decided to do it by my own instinct, the ideas that could flow through my mind and I thought were the right ones to represent accurately the reality they were showing… and then an idea came up, the aging idea. This is a technique I use to make what I represent more real, maybe that’s what is new in my style, what makes it different from others”.



Model that represents “el Morrillo” museum in Matanzas city

After making the model of the health center I was asked to make a model of “el Morrillo” museum, “la Ruta del Esclavo” museum; which is the “San Severino Castle”….I also finished one that represents the peninsula of Varadero including its main cultural, historic and touristic institutions, that of coarse this one was made a bit longer ago. Nowadays Varadero is bigger that that, but the model is there.”

The fact of preserving this artist works in different museums of the province has allowed the new generations and the future ones not only to see them but to protect the history of Matanzas.

Model that represents the “ruta del esclavo” museum

This artist has left is impression in these creations. His constant creativeness made him designed models more focused on the aesthetic and artistic enjoyment.

“Among the models I have made, there is a natural size well that is decorating part of a hotel in Varadero, the replica of a small traditional Cuban house located in the country side that I made for a friend. And the last one was a small model I just finished a couple of days ago for a personal reason.”


Model that represents the Cuban traditional house

This model is an outstanding one since it even represents the furniture of the time in an exquisite miniature distributed all over the house in the different rooms. However, the representation of an area completely destroyed by an explosion is considered, like all his works, an incredible work of art.

“The model of the explosion I made it because I wanted to represent a moment in the history of my neighborhood in a documentary I just finished…by the way, this is a manifestation I had never done before, and those who have been able to see it already feel the satisfaction, not only because of its stylistic value but for the documentary itself”.

Model used in the documentary filming “la Explosion”

 “I couldn’t think of a way to represent an issue that took place more than 50 years ago, where could I find images of that time? So, I had to use the memories of my childhood, I gave my personal testimony through the model”

A man of voice, colors, mixtures and creations, that like some other artists in their times, will convey his legacy to many Cuban and foreign generations.

To enjoy a creation is always delightful, especially when it was achieved with love and devotion.


Original text by Idania Godoy Tápanes on May 12th, 2010

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