Art and Culture

Talking “Contemporary Art” with artist Fernando Varela in the Marina Casa de Campo

fernando varela

This post is also available in: Spanish

fernando varelaLast Friday the 22nd of February, internationally recognized artist Fernando Varela led a talk ““Una introducción a la comprensión del arte contemporaneo”, an occasion sponsored by  Silgon Inc., Marketing, Web Development & Publishing Services.

At sunset, a small group of art enthusiasts gathered at Fernando’s art space on the Paseo del Mar, where he is currently exhibiting Fernando Varela: Recent Works – Paintings/Drawings” – and enjoyed a relaxed glass of wine before taking our seats for what turned out to be a somewhat lively debate rather than a “talk”.

Serious artists Gianfranco Fini and Fernando Varela
fernando varela

In the audience was myself Rebecca Hughes with Philip Silvestri – representing Silgon Inc, a number of Casa de Campo villa owners – such as Gianfranco Fini, an artist himself and the architect of the Marina Casa de Campo, as well as artists and teachers at the Altos de Chavón School of Art and Design; Raul Miyar and Mark Lineweaver.

fernando varelaFirst talking about his own contemporary art and his most recent collections; Origins & Primary Forms and the Caribbean Series – both forming part of his most recent exhibit Fernando Varela: Recent Works – Paintings/Drawings”, which will remain open on the Paseo del Mar through to the end of March, we were acquainted with Varela’s own thoughts and feelings of his art work.

Moving on to talk about contemporary art in general is when things got slightly more interesting. Amongst other things, Fernando made the point that in recent times, art – and especially contemporary art – has become anything. “Without someone to tell us what is and isn’t art – anything goes”, said Varela, who went on to give the example that if a group of people, some artists and other “non-artists” were to be given the tools to paint – no-one would be able to say with any certainty which pieces were created by the artists and which by the “non-artists”. With the input of the artists in the room, this topic became a short debate – with Gianfranco Fini pointing out that artists only become “successful” once they are recognized – and that it is to a certain extent down to chance and luck as to whether or not this happens……

I on the other hand believe in making your own luck! If you have a talent, passion or a dream – get out there are show the world – and do not stop until you have succeeded! This friendly, if a little heated debate, continued until we headed out into the evening – and onto Bayahibe and our favorite spot “El Cafecito de la Cubana” for fried fish and mojitos!

So did I learn anything? Yes. As a non-artist and actually not much of an art critic or indeed an art fan – I certainly did gain a good insight and understanding of contemporary art, and at the very least I did leave thinking “what is art?” and do you know what I decided? I decided that “art is in the eye of the beholder”. 

Fernando Varela: Recent Works – Paintings/Drawings

Open until March 31st 2013

fernando varela

Open daily:

• Monday – Friday, 2pm – 8pm
• Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 8pm

Where: Paseo del Mar #7, Marina Casa de Campo


• Fernando:(809) 862-6133
• Rosario: (829) 343-5301
• Xiomara: (809) 486-1650

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