One of the most outstanding artists in Cuba today, Reinaldo Pagan Avila from Santiago de Cuba is a most prolific painter. He has painted since he was a child. His parents divorced and he grew up with his mother in the hills of Santiago in a little town called Vista Hermosa. Pagan studied art at the José Joaquín Tejada Art School but is self taught in water colors and many other artistic techniques which he learned from the books he read.
His artistic style reflects the styles both of surrealism and expressionism, conveying messages of humor, satire and tragedy. Japanese elements, religious icons and people are often the subjects of his works of art.
This is one of my favorite paintings by Pagan, the image of drowning people swallowed by fish in a cruel sea. It is much like another painting of his, Juventud Rebelda with victims in a rough sea, in a boat made of newspaper in the dark night. Make of it what you will, this art by the Cuban artist Pagan is bound to provoke thought and squeamishness.