In our never ending search for amazing talent and beautiful art in this wide world of ours, we were lucky enough to discover amazing young Painter – Sheila Diaz Garcia. We came upon one of her pieces in Havana Vieja, which now adorns one of the walls in our Havana Airbnb, Jesus Maria 23, and fell in love with her color, composition and style. We caught up with her in Havana a little while back…
Us: What was your path towards being an Artist?
Sheila: As a child I was always intrigued with art and enjoyed painting as a hobby. My parents always knew and saw my love for art, but I never took it seriously, it was just something I enjoyed doing in my spare time. I finally became serious about becoming an Artist when I was about 15 or 16 years old. That’s the time I discovered, and seriously told my parents, that this is what I want to do. Once I made that my ultimate goal, I began to study art more intensely and devote myself to pursue art and live as an Artist.
Us: What’s your inspiration for your work?
Sheila: From the beginning, I was always aware of my interest in the deconstruction aspect of painting. I also loved to work with my hands and add things to my paintings that I would find around the streets or in my home. I don’t typically have a painting and frame already thought out in my mind, to me, it’s a very interesting and organic process. It’s an unconscious process of decision making that evolves as I begin to combine colors, textures and found items that begin to blend and orchestrate themselves naturally. Sometimes, it’s just a feeling I have at that moment that moves me to choose a color or texture. Materials I find are part of the inspiration. My inspiration depends upon what day to day objects I see and pick up that people may think as ordinary, but I transform into and make part of my work. For me, the painting as it develops provides me further inspiration, and surprises me and moves me to make the next brush stroke…I really love it.
Us: Who inspires you as an Artist?
Sheila: I love so many different Artists. I remember when I was studying, how there were so many artists that influenced me. My favorite artists are
Anselm Kiefer – a German Painter and Sculptor, and Antoni Tàpies – a Spanish Artist. Both utilize materials and textures in their work that depict very strong visuals and ideas. Their work really motivates me to work in similar ways as they do.
Us: Who are your heros?
Sheila: The Cuban people in general and Cuban culture are heros of mine. Cuban women, especially, as they balance domestic life with their other roles, are truly heroic. Cubans have had to survive and overcome so many obstacles to defend the culture and richness that we have. The country and economic situation is very complex here, but influences me as well. It amazes me how we have been able to maintain the richness of our culture throughout all of these challenges…Cuban culture never collapses…that drives me to keep moving forward.
Us: What’s your favorite local?
Sheila: I live in a rural zone. I love it there because it’s peaceful and quiet, surrounded by nature. However, I’ve discovered that I also love it when I travel to Havana Vieja. The transition of living in a quiet rural zone and traveling to the city, passing by the beaches and later arriving to this more lively place of Havana Vieja, is something I always enjoy. I love discovering Havana Vieja, I studied there, but enjoy the constant contact with people and watching what happens around the busy streets, it’s interesting. I also love being able to see the beautiful ocean. I love that I know so many people in the area and when I run into them unexpectedly on the streets it’s wonderful. Walking through the streets, discovering new places to eat and small shops is always fun.
Us: What more would you like to say?
Sheila: I want to continue producing more art and hope visitors and other people are able to see and identify with my work. I am currently working on fixing up a space as my dedicated studio and will let you know when it’s open. I love conversing with passerby’s looking at my work because they have interesting things to say and stories to tell. I love giving 100% to my art, as I don’t have another job…this is it. I create. I’m currently going to submit my work for the Post It Show here in Havana in late summer. It’s a show for young artists under 35 years, and I’ll be submitting soon.