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THE MARIPOSAS OF ANTONIO GUERRERO

As many people are learning, Antonio Guerrero has emerged as a proficient painter during his time in prison in Florence, Colorado. Like the rest of the Cuban 5 he has made his time productive and through the medium of his art he has become an active contributor to the struggle towards their inevitable freedom.

Antonio has mastered a variety of painting techniques that has drawn considerable attention in the many exhibits of his work shown in countries around the world.

His exhibit “From my Altitude” has been touring cities across the United States for the past two years. Antonio collaborated with US photographer Bill Hackwell in 2008 to produce an exhibit of portraits of activists in the struggle for the freedom of the Cuban 5 entitled “Bridge of Solidarity” that traveled for over a year to every major city in Cuba. One of Antonio’s most significant projects was his paintings of “Birds of the Americas” that he completed for the Cuban National Museum of Natural History.

In 2009, when Antonio was painting the Birds of the Americas, the director of the National Museum Dr. Reinaldo Rojas proposed to him to paint the endemic butterflies of Cuba and that was as the project began.

After determining that there were 27 different species of endemic butterflies of Cuba, with two of them extinct, the problem was to find the images for Antonio so he could paint each one of them. To obtain the images, it was decided to photograph the 25 butterflies that were preserved in the Cuban Ecology Institute. Jorge Fontenla, a specialist and biologist of the Museum of Natural History, was the adviser and coordinator of the project.

Liborio Noval, the renowned photographer of the Cuban Revolution, offered to go to the museum to photograph the collection to give Antonio detailed images to paint from. This was not the first time Antonio and Liborio had collaborated on a project.  Last year an exhibit of their work was displayed in Paris France.

Antonio started painting these images the beginning of March of this year and continued virtually without interruption until he finished the last one on June 11. The technique he used for the project was water color.  Upon completion of this series he commented, “I almost felt like I was in a dream, and yes for me it is a dream come true. I hope all this work will be displayed to help our National Museum in its important mission of letting our people know and be aware of our natural history.  It is part of our revolutionary work and responsibility to jealously guard the fauna and flora of our island.”

LA MARIPOSA QUE PINTO

Unas tienen motas blancas,

otras, rayuelas en negro,…

La mariposa que pinto

revolotea en mi pecho.

La miro, mueve sus alas;

me mira, ríe, y me alegro

cuando se posa gentil

en la flor que llevo dentro.

Como un suspiro de amor

salta del cáliz abierto

y con su gracia divina

le da colores al cielo.

Primavera sin jardines

bajo nubes del encierro,

pero vuelan mariposas

en acuarelas y en versos.

21 de junio de 2011

FCI Florence

Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez

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