Guajiros Retratos de Otoño, an exhibition of work by Lázaro Niebla
Lázaro Niebla, a resident of Trinidad de Cuba, documents the connection to the past through reverse woodcut portraits of those that understand it best: his elders. His process begins by collecting discarded colonial window panels that were used to protect the homes in Trinidad de Cuba during the Spanish colonization. He then photographs his subjects, capturing them in a spontaneous moment. Working off of his photograph, Lázaro meticulously carves layer after layer from the repurposed panel, exposing the perfectly preserved wood under the surface. Using acrylic paint, Lázaro adds touches of color to the piece, choosing to leave the skin of the subject wood tone — connecting the person he has chosen to portray to the material that he has chosen to work with. The life of the tree, the window shutter, the home it protected, the subject portrayed, and the artist are all represented in each piece of art.