In 1959 Francisco Rodon finished his first and only watercolor. To date, only one example is known to exist titled “ANA”. The work shows the silhouette of a young woman, with a subtle application of several sparkles in oil. Executed on watercolor paper on masonite. The curious thing about the painting is the depth that Rodon gets to obtain when applying a type of sfumato where it distorts the plane but does not affect the anatomical details of the face.
I find it relatively curious how this work was for many years in the custody of Francisco Rodon until 2017. To date, this is the oldest work that I have been able to analyze by the hand of the artist. It shows an era where the artist was not afraid to experiment with other mediums. Francisco told me in his studio located in San Juan that watercolors is a medium that he never liked to work due to the complex technique, saying that the application and execution must be spontaneous and precise the first time or else the work is ruined in a matter of minutes.
The work is signed on the lower right edge in pencil # 3. On the lower left edge reads unique watercolor “Acuarela Unica”. I like seeing works like these, as they demonstrate different facets of the artist. To this day I found several different media such as wood engraving, drawings, pastels, oil painting, serigraphs, lithographs and finally a single watercolor.
You be amazed at what you find in the state. Found this in a small thrift store in Washington. Luis Hernandez Cruz 1965, the painting that was on the Front Page for the “San Juan Review” 1966, plus mention on Marta Trabas Book “Propuesta Polemica, Sobre Arte Puertorriqueña” Page 12.
The signature looks extremely different to the one from 1970 to the present one. Signature from this period are simple, crisp and easily readable in comparison.
The provenance of this painting is unmatched. San Juan Review used it on their magazine cover in 1966, Marta Traba also wrote about Luis Hernandez Cruz using the magazine edition of March as a reference.
I’m a firm believer that research is key when constructing a respectable collection, and site like Ebay, Clasificados Online, Craiglist are an excellent source to buy rare pieces. I can only imagine how an important piece like this ended up in a thrift shop. Maybe the former owners passed away and it was left as an inheritance to a family that didn’t realize what was the true value of such painting.
A decent size painting by Luis Hernandez Cruz painting today can cost you between $12,000 dollars up to $25,000 dollars. I bought this work of art for only $800 dollars in 2017.
And her name was Teresa. During the early 60’s Francisco Rodon created his first and only woodcut that measured 22 x 30 inches. Most collectors till this date have no clue that such piece does exist. The woodcut was an assignment by Lorenzo Homar when Rodon was studying at his studio in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The woodcut won ” Mencion Honorifica” at the Ateneo in 1960, and have become extremely rare to find on the secondary market reaching price over $2000,00 dollars for one. Only a few example were sold since the artist never intended them to sell them at the open market in 1960. Only 20 example are known to exist. It’s curious that the first time that an example of this appeared on the secondary market was in 2015 at a small auction in the U.S. reaching $1500 without the 23% buyers premium.
The composition was simple with just one color, “Flat Black” laid on rice paper. It showed a portrait of a young girl called Teresa, staring directly at the spectator.The white pattern on the composition is just the base of the paper giving light as if the white color was applied directly to the composition.
Its needless to say that a true Rodon collector will want one of this woodcut example of Teresa. The hardest task will be locating one since it would be a great investment due to the short demand of this particular piece… Thanks for reading and sharing
La entrada de sus hijos en la vida de Botello produjo un cambio en los temas de sus obras que se centraran ahora en torno a niños y a la familia. En esta época el estilo de Botello podría quizás compararse. Superficialmente a Picasso o Matisse. Los objetos interpretados a través de la visión refinada del artista han sido reducidos a líneas y formas básicas. La mayoría de las pinturas de Botello parecen ser muy sencillas pero la aparente sencillez es deceptiva. Los contornos forman patrones de líneas muy atractivos; los colores son brillantes y arbitrarios, respondiendo mas al estado de animo del artista y a las exigencias del diseño que a la naturaleza del modelo. Capas gruesa de pintura son barnizadas y raspadas, siguiendo intricados patrones o suavizadas con el propósito de añadir riqueza textural y una dimensión estructural ala superficie de sus cuadros.
Pagina 148 Angel Botellos Barros 1988
La nina con brazos cruzados es una obra sencilla en su composición con destellos de líneas solida en carbón donde complementa la totalidad del área. Es relativamente sencilla al ojo del espectador nunca perdiendo la refines que Botello era conocido. Esta obra muestra como una niña observa detenidamente a su pájaro detrás de su jaula. La magia esta en la mirada sutil del personaje hacia el ave, contiene pura emoción e inocencia, algo el cual Angel Botello llego a perfeccionar desde temprano en su carrera.
The original hand draw work titled “Girl with Crossed Hands” was made in 1973. Is a charcoal on paper with measures of 18 x 24 inches. This work was used to do three additional works in three different media from 1973 through 1980.
Crucifixion is a small format work that measures around 11 “x 14” from 1983 that was exposed for a short time in the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico in 2015. In this subject, we see how the artist Augusto Marin takes the religious theme and manages to capture the scene of Christ in his last moments. The work was elaborated in a fast but controlled way, where the lines without interruption show four faces in the composition, being Christ the main personage.
The Christ is created in an expressionist pattern with basic lines interlaced in his anatomy while to his left there are two static spectators with bright green and brown colors followed by the same stroke pattern of the Christ, ending with the appearance of an angelic silhouette with light pink lines emanating the light in this composition. At the moment of analyzing the Christ on his cross, we notice that the artist selected an intense red, symbolic red that suggests blood being poured from the upper pole to the lower pole in the composition. It is interesting that the Christ is the only figure where the red predominates, we see that there are two different types of red that interlace as they descend from the head to the ground. Did Marin wish to remind us that this blood will be the one that could cleanse the sin of the world, turning this work into a merely religious painting?
Interestingly we can note that the figure on the right side edge is the only silhouette cleaned with blood red in the composition. Clearly, a very well thought out job at the time of its execution. The strokes are very fluid in their entirety in the composition, interspersed by black lines in the center of each individual. The color blue, is a tone that represents the elegance said by Domingo Garcia, and we can see how Marin integrated in its composition. The blue tones gives a subtle elegance to the periphery of the work, while the black announces depth and character to the atmosphere of the painting.