|First Posted: Apr 21, 2013 |
Dec 5, 2014
Salvador Gonzáles Escalona
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.
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.
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.
From 1990 he is represented at various exhibitions at Cuba. From 1992 he had several exhibitions abroad:
Besides several murals at Cuba, he has done murals abroad:
Besides several sculptures at Cuba: