CUENCA, ON-LINE ISSUE 03
By Cuenca Expats Magazine Staff Writer
Photos: Courtesy of Quimbita Galleries
In Cuenca, world-renown artist Olmedo Quimbita has opened his third art gallery. The other two are in Guayaquil and Olon. Quimbita has exhibited his paintings in over 20 countries, not only in South America, but also in the United States, Europe, Russia, and Israel. In Cuenca, his newest gallery is on Calle Larga, the same block as the Museo Pumapungo, and next door to his friend Miguel Illescas’ art center. Quimbita took time away from preparing for his art opening to speak to us.
CEM: How would you describe the style of your painting?
Quimbita: I have been painting every day for the past 30 years. In the beginning, I started with abstractionism, and then I practiced a lot with mixed arts; however, in the end I decided that my painting was moving toward figurative art. Of course, I went through various processes, topics, and techniques to get them to what they are right now. Now it has a very defined style, meaning that if people see the work of Quimbita, they can easily recognize it as mine.
CEM: What motivated you to start painting 30 years ago?
Quimbita: Well, in my family there was always a bond that somehow guided me to art. My uncle, for example, was a musician, and my brother, recently deceased, was an art lover. He had books, colors, and paintings. So, as a child it was enough for me to take the colors and start drawing or painting. Indeed, I painted my first painting at the age of 7. Then I entered the School of Arts in Quito. Although my interest came from my childhood, I was motivated even more on my first trip to Caracas, Venezuela in 1985 where I sold my first painting. From there I have not stopped painting. I had the opportunity to make inroads throughout Latin America, the United States, Europe, and the Arab countries ... until finally, after so many years abroad, I came back to reside full time in Ecuador.
CEM: Who influenced the style of your painting?
Quimbita: Generally, when you are starting out, you always receive a lot of influence from masters of painting. In my case, I investigated Latin American, North American and European artists, and for me, that was a source of experimentation, so as to be able to reach what I wanted to achieve with my art and my style.
CEM: You have been called the Painter of Light. What does that mean to you?
Quimbita: Well, "El Pintor de la Luz" is born first of the luminous part of the works. The handling of light and color that I have developed in the last 30 years. Why the Light? I was born in the Province of Cotopaxi where everything is cloudy and cold, a bit like Cuenca. When I went to Caracas and the Caribbean . . . well, that was a burst of color. So, I started studying for a couple of years about how to paint light and make correct use of it, until I mastered it. After that, I was able to mix both the Andean and tropical light. Hence, "Painter of Light" was born. However, I have also involved the inner light of the human being, and that is why childhood, innocence and tenderness are present, which is another form of deeper light.
All readers of Cuenca Expats Magazine and their friends are invited to visit the Quimbita Gallery and to personally meet the artist Olmedo Quimbita. Gallery is opened Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. As a grand opening gift, each attendee will be given a face mask printed with the artist’s work and signature.
Olmedo Quimbita. Ecuadorean Painter
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