Rolando Estévez Jordán was a giver of art and verses that illuminated the city of Matanzas from the middle of the 20th century to the present. There is no emblematic place in Cuba’s Athens where his presence does not palpitate, in condominium with the muses and elves, inhabitants of this prodigal land, which for him should be called Bellamar.
This December 1st is the 70th birthday of visual artist and promoter, poet Rolando Estevez Jordan, National Book Design Award, one of the most distinguished, energetic and beloved personalities of Matanzas and Cuban culture.
Teatro Icarón was one of his creative projects, where he won countless awards for his mastery in stage design and founded a family that remembers him with passion, nostalgia and from which his daughter Lucre emerged as a «little wind rose».
Writer, playwright, painter, sculptor and director of El Fortín editions, he has an unforgettable transcendence in his artistic work as founder of Vigía editions and author of about twenty poetry books, among which stand out «El dios tardío», Arte y Literatura collection, Havana, 1989 and «Oráculo en bandeja de aluminio», Matanzas editions, 2020.
His plastic work stood out for its impetus and beauty,
His oil paintings are exhibited in the United States, Mexico, Spain, France, Canada and other countries. He made cover illustrations and design.
He painted for books by Cuban and American authors published here and abroad. He was an honorary professor at the University of Michigan and at the Association of Craftsmen and Artists in his hometown.
Estévez is indelible in Matanzas’ culture. His imprint is perceived in Vigía editions, in his abandoned Fortín, in the houses of the UNEAC and the Artisans, in the theatrical groups Icarón, Papalote, Teatro D’ Sur and El Mirón Cubano, in museums and galleries, in the Sauto Theater, in the streets that inspired his poems.
He received numerous recognitions, among which stand out the Distinction for National Culture, the Amicus Polonial, Raúl Gómez García and National Vanguard medals of the Culture Union, the Artist of Merit Diploma granted by the National Direction of the ACAA and the Ministry of Culture, the distinction El Quinqué de Vigía, the Brene Award and the 60th Anniversary Seal of the UNEAC.
To Rolando Estévez Jordán, writer of poems and chronicles, decorator of books, paintings and murals, actor, theater play designer, editor and cultural promoter; to Estévez, a cultured and generous man in affections and gifts, passionate, combative, he dedicates his memory of Cuba and the city where he lived a profitable existence of almost seven decades.
As the year 2024 begins, the first anniversary of his physical disappearance will arrive on January 17th, but I know that his emotion and legacy remains alive in the homes and hearts of the people of Matanzas who remember his walk through the streets of his beloved city, with long and determined steps.
«…Me he puesto en la cabeza los tacos de Elegguá
y sé que romperán los empedrados cielos,
los estériles surcos de marabú y yerbajo
y todas las peleas por la tierrita leve
que está en la sobrevivida.»
(Excerpt from Poem I4. «Oráculo en bandeja de aluminio»)
Written by María Elena Bayón Mayor.