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First Posted: Apr 21, 2013
Dec 5, 2014

Salvador Gonzáles Escalona

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Salvador Gonzáles Escalona/Cuba/April 2013

Image: Copyright HorseHints.org Image: Copyright HorseHints.org
Image: Copyright HorseHints.org Image: Copyright HorseHints.org
Image: Copyright HorseHints.org Image: Copyright HorseHints.org
Image: Copyright HorseHints.org Image: Copyright HorseHints.org Image: Copyright HorseHints.org Image: Copyright HorseHints.org
Image: Copyright HorseHints.org

Havana's Callejón de Hamel (Hamel Alley). It's just a tiny space caught in a neighborhood where an effort of cultural rescue and expansion led by fine artist Salvador González Escalona has been underway since 1990.

This area was named after a French-German man who earned the moniker of Fernando Hamel. Mr. Hamel was a smuggler who ran weapons during the American Civil War. He eventually settled in Havana, Cuba in the skid row of Cayo Hueso. It was here that "Salvador" transformed this area into the popular culture of today.

Image: Wikipedia/Friman
Salvador at work in "Callejón de Hamel" with his painting "Makuto" (2008).

Salvador Gonzáles Escalona

Salvador Gonzáles Escalona, born October 21, 1948 in Camagüey, Cuba, is a Cuban painter, muralist and sculptor. His artist name is Salvador. His work is known as an "afro-cuban" style. He describes his work as a mix of surrealism, cubism and abstract art. Salvador has no formal artist education, but as early as in 1968 he had his first art exhibition "Arte Popular Cubano" in "Museo de Artes Decorativas", Havana.

In the 1980s he had a series of art exhibitions at Cuba. In 1986 he had an exhibition at Seychelles and in 1987 an exhibition in Rome, Italy.

Callejón de Hamel

April 21, 1990 he started with murals and sculptures in the street Callejón de Hamel, near University of Havana. For sculptures he used scrap objects like bathtubs, hand pumps, pin wheels etc., and for the murals he used different kind of available paint, including car enamel. Even though the first four years became difficult, he was inspired by local inhabitants and visitors to continue his work, and little by little, the street was transformed from a slum area to an enthusiastic Afro-Cuban centre.

There are workshops for young Cuban children to learn painting. Every Sunday there is Rumba-music, and every Friday Cuban music in the street. This is still Salvador's artistic headquarter.

Later Exhibitions

From 1990 he is represented at various exhibitions at Cuba. From 1992 he had several exhibitions abroad:

    Norway

  • 1992 - Stavanger + Bergen (University of Bergen) + Floro.
  • Denmark

  • 1992 - Arhus + Copenhagen.
  • 1994 - Randers.
  • 1996 - Vejle.
  • Mexico

  • 1994
  • Puerto Rico

  • 1997 - San Juan.
  • USA

  • 1998 - New York (The Metropolitan Pavilion Gallery) + University of California, Los Angeles.
  • 1999 - New York (Manhattan)
  • 2000 - New York (The Metropolitan Pavilion Gallery) + Tiberino + Philadelphia.
  • Spain

  • 2005 - Madrid.
  • Murals

    Besides several murals at Cuba, he has done murals abroad:

    Venezuela

  • 1991 - "El Hijo del Sol", 350m² - Hotel Caracas Hilton.
  • Norway

  • 1992 - Floro.
  • Mexico
    1993 - "Ancestros" - Centro Multicultural, Xochimilco. Invited by Dr. Fèlix Zurita Ochoa. 1994 - "Sol de America" - Museo Antropologico de Querétaro, Institudo Indigenista Otomi, Universidad Autonomica.

    Denmark

  • 1995 - "Madre Agua", "Solidaritetshuset", Copenhagen.
  • 1996 - "Deidales del Mar" - Vejle.
  • USA

  • 1995 - "La Roca del Amor" - The Johnson State College, Vermont + a mural in Arizona.
  • 1996 - "El muerto pare el Santo" + "Iku Lobi Osha" - California + "La creacion de Obbatala ante el dios del Camino" - New Jersey (Roosevelt elementary school) + "El dios del Camino" - New York (Washington Square Preschool).
  • 1998 - "El framboyan" - New York (El Museo del Barrio).
  • 2000 - "Mariposas del Caribe" - Philadelphia.
  • 2001 - "Una Flor para Africa" - Philadelphia.
  • St. Martin

  • 1996 - Hospitality center, Alburquerque.
  • Puerto Rico

  • 1998 - "Orilla frente al Mar" + "Rumba" + "Rumba en la Rumba" + "De un solo pajaro las dos alas"
  • Italy

  • 2007 - Torino.
  • Sculptures

    Besides several sculptures at Cuba:

    Denmark

  • 1994 - "La ganga y la Llave" - Randers.
  • 1996 - "Yemaya Olokun" - Vejle.

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