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Toroazul Painting and Fine Arts
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José Grave de Peralta
Nueva bandera cubana
                                             El despertar de Cuba  1
Juan Galbán

                                       1998  ~~ magic marker and color pencils
These images were painted in 1998 by Juan Galban, my lifelong friend and
teacher. Juan was by training an architect, and he left Cuba in 1960 to join
the Benedictine monastery of Mount Saviour in Elmira, New York. In 1965
he spent two years of his monastic life in Christ in the Desert, located in
Abeque, New Mexico, U.S.A.

His respectful guidance in my own path as an artist and human being has
been great, helping me in no small way to understand both art and life.

Just when here in Rome I was trying to understand the design and tectonics
of the Temple of Hercules in the Foro Boario area of the city, almost by
telepathy, Juan thought to send me in an email these images of his paintings
from 1998. Although the colorful shapes and elements that he worked with
to compose these pictures are simply variations of  the following :

    the iconic mantle of the Virgin saint of Cuba -- La Caridad del Cobre

  • the geographic shape or outline of our Island

  • and the Star and stripes of the national flag

when I saw the star, it dawned on me that I could in fact make better sense
of my Roman subject by giving more prominence to the geometry and
symbolism of the lone star in the Temple of Hercules.
                                                 El despertar de Cuba 2
Juan Galbán

                                        1998  ~~ magic marker and color pencils