Orlando Quevedo is a master of depicting light and shadow in a style he calls “Magical Realism.” By combining Baroque space with contemporary design, Quevedo establishes the notion that art and history are linked through time, not separated by it.
Quevedo was born January 1, 1970 in Holguín, Cuba, and showed great interest in art at a young age. In 1982, he enrolled at the highly-respected Vocational School of Arts. He later attended the Professional School of Fine Arts in Holguín and rounded out his formal education at the Instituto Superior de Arte (University of Arts) in Havana, Cuba in 1993, graduating in the same year.
After Quevedo graduated, he made the decision to immigrate to the United States in pursuit of an artistic career. His father had settled in Philadelphia 13 years prior, so Quevedo followed in his footsteps and made Philadelphia his new home.
Quevedo used his artistic talents to inspire a love of art in others as a professor of art appreciation at La Salle University in Philadelphia. He was quickly recognized for his artistic abilities and was tasked with brightening the downtown area by painting several large murals.
Today, the artist continually seeks out new trends to incorporate into his art, and enjoys working with mixed media and hand-embellished works on canvas.
Style and Influences
Quevedo mixes vivid architectural interiors with illusionary elements, reimagining conceptions of Surrealism, Baroque antiquity, and magic. Quevedo paints these elements with such detail that the lines of reality and fantasy are blurred. By the mid-2000s, this unique style led Quevedo to become the leading proponent of “Magical Realism.”
To create such dramatic scenes, Quevedo places the utmost importance on light and shadow. He cannot imagine one without the other—nothing can be seen without light, but shadows are required to portray objects and the space they occupy. In particular, Quevedo found inspiration from the light and movement created by Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, and Diego Velázquez.
There is far more than a mastery of technique in Quevedo’s art. Each painting is filled with optimistic emotions and a sense of belonging. The source of this emotion is drawn from the joy Quevedo felt when reuniting with his father after immigrating to Pennsylvania. Quevedo says he began to use vibrant and vivid colors as a way of expressing one of the happiest moments of his life.
Quevedo often creates intricate reproductions of works by the Old Masters that inspire him. His tributes pay homage to Marc Chagall, Edward Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh. Quevedo credits the time he spends enjoying the Philadelphia Museum of Art as the inspiration behind his recreations of artistic masters.