Thursday, November 28, 2013

Artist Interviews: Nelsón Cabán​​, Painter

Odilia Rivera-Santos

1. What is your most vibrant memory of Puerto Rico from your childhood?
My most vibrant memories are climbing the trees in my great-grandmothers backyard in Ponce and sitting there watching her prepare food and sing softly to herself. Four generations of family was united and tied together through those hands lovingly working away in the kitchen all those years.

2. What do you carry with you everywhere you go? 

I carry a red pañuelo that was prayed over and blessed in my carry-on whenever I travel. As a child of Oshun, I ask for help in handling all of the various energies that are encountered on my path.

3. What awakened your very first interest in visual art?

Not sure. I was an only child for quite awhile so it began as a form of creative entertainment and escapism. There are photos of me as a child as early as 3 years painting on paper with all my materials thrown on the floor. Not much has changed

4. What have you learned from making art? (First 3 things that come to mind)

The first lesson art taught me was patience- you cannot always will the materials to bend to your whims. Somedays you must concede defeat and try again another day.
Humility- you are not always as talented as you assume and there are a multitude of ways you can improve your craft. Stay inquisitive and always seek to improve.
Lastly, art is powerful and that should be harnessed to creative substantive works. I have been moved to tears by some works of art, specifically "Guernica" by Picasso. 

5. What is more exciting - chasing or maintaining?

The chase is the greatest thrill for me. Traveling to these galleries around the world and introducing yourself and your artwork is both rewarding and exhausting. It is not always the most glamorous occupation but being an artist and being able to sustain yourself while enriching the lives of others is worth all of the pain and the struggle.

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