|Toroazul Painting and Fine Arts
|It is not every day that one can find an Artist and lover of Philosophy and Art
History -- like myself -- to give you a personal, guided tour of Rome. But this is
what I do here, along with my artwork. This is my story.
I am a graduate of St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, known for its unique
“Great Books,” classical liberal arts curriculum. I also hold a master’s degree in art
and Spanish literature from the University of Delaware in Newark. In 2004, I
brought a small group of UMiami students to the Spinelli Institute of Art and Art
Restoration, in Florence, Italy, and participated in the institute's classes on fresco
painting, history, and restoration under the direction of professors Maria Grazia
Badino, Rodolfo Bargelli, and Tiziano Lucchesi.
In August 2008, I came to Rome as freehand drawing professor to the graduate
students of the University of Miami School of Architecture, and decided to stay in
Italy on a private sabbatical, to get to know the City, further develop on my own
artwork, and also to write about my experiences and reflections here. These writings
will one day become a book, and they are visible by clicking this diamond.
As a lecturing professor at the University of Miami, besides architectural drawing, I
have taught Western and non-Western art survey classes.
Thanks to my Latin background (I was born in Camagüey, CUBA) and my
upbringing and education in the northeast of the United States, I bring a broad and
uniquely Latin-American focus to the art of touring of Rome. I am fluent in Italian,
Spanish, English, and to some degree, French. Moreover, my tours are deepened by
my sincere interest in MYTHOLOGY as an essential --but practically forgotten--
element inside the art and architecture of Rome. Too often in their explanations,
guides leave the mythological unmentioned or else treat it rather flippantly, as an
archaic curiosity in the context of the tour. Rome's beginnings, for example, owe as
much to the legendary figures of Romulus and Remus as to those of Aeneas and his
old father Anchises, fleeing Troy. Little do most tourists suspect that the hero
Hercules also figures into the founding stories of the mythical Roma Quadrata, the
earliest urban enclosure of the City, built by Romulus. The true Palatine Hill tour, as
I understand it, must address these myths and others in order to truly introduce the
traveler to that sacred historical area, patrimony of humanity!
As a professor, too, I see all too often the dazed, oblivious look on the faces of study-
abroad groups as their instructors point out -- for example -- that the figure of Plato
in Raphael's School of Athens is holding in his hand a tome of his work, TIMAEUS.
My background in the classics can open up a whole new appreciation of the fresco by
explaining to students or adults exactly why this particular text is so important in
the context of this Vatican mural, painted a few doors away from where
Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Ceiling with images of Genesis in the Bible
and the story of Noah and the Flood. Plato's TIMAEUS, it turns out, contains not
only the Platonic (non-Judeo-Christian) version of the creation of the universe but
also of the continent of Atlantis and its own destruction by a Flood-like cataclysm!
In fact, in my tour I explain how Plato's account of the orbiting planets and of all
life in the universe, an account both mythological and logical, yet based on the
triangle, is as much a cosmogony as it is a description of how our mind works and
how much thought, in its purest, most "classical" form, is a sort of sacred yet basic
geometry of triangles, circles, and other such figures.
|U.S. phone 786-417-6772
Rome 39+ 366 1940 507