Cuban Artists Pedro Pablo Oliva and Ulises Bretaña at FIART 2009

FIART 2009 [Feria Internacional de Arte], the first International Art Fair in Santo Domingo, is now underway (see post from May 2, “First Fine Arts Fair in Santo Domingo, May 20-24”) at the National Gallery of the Palace of Fine Arts. Exhibiting work from more than 20 art galleries from the United States, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, the fair is dedicated to Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Invited guests are Cuban artists Pedro Pablo Oliva and Ulises Bretaña.


Pedro Pablo Oliva (born in Pinar del Río, Cuba in 1949) specializes in painting, drawing, and sculpture. He has chosen to show close to twenty watercolors at FIART 2009. Pedro Pablo Oliva studied art at the Escuela Provincial de Artes Plásticas in Pinar del Río from 1961 to 1964 and specialized in painting at the Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana, graduating in 1970. His whimsical paintings often depict children and animals, about which Oliva says, “I want to use the images of childhood to alleviate the bleakness of the complex problems confronting adulthood.” Over the past three decades, Oliva has participated in numerous international exhibitions in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United States, among other venues. Reflecting on the role of the artist, Ramón Gala observes that Oliva tries to reduce social contingency to the absurd and is therefore destined to “the unfortunate task of softening misfortune through parody.”


Ulises Bretaña (born in Pinar del Río, Cuba in 1957) is a self-educated artist, who has been described as “a mixture of will-power and pure talent, natural, with no academic molds.” In Mario Vizcaíno’s words, “This artist is moved by several subjects: from environment conservation to the recreation of universal symbols, such as El Quixote, including evidences of the absurd, grief, sadness, or happiness. More than the divine, the humane is what moves Bretaña.” Bretaña has participated in solo and group exhibitions in the Dominican Republic, Italy, Jamaica, Panama, Paris, Puerto Rico, Spain, and the United States. The majority of his works are in private collections around the world. Gala describes Bretaña as a “creator who has evolved towards a representation of constant and conscious ruptures of the magical imaginary to build a cosmos in which the metaphor of the visual discourse is the permanent pursuit of equilibrium within the real and the impossible.”

For more information, see

For Pedro Pablo Oliva’s work, see

For Ulises Bretaña’s work, see

Oliva’s “Martí” is from

Bretaña’s “Sueño dorado del perico” is from

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