“... I entered the world of flora and fauna. Along that path my experiences came forth, the neighborhoods where I lived: Atarés, Los Sitios, Lawton, life in the slum, the language, the rumbas de cajón. My conversations with Rogelio Martínez Furé also helped a lot, as well as reading Fernando Ortiz and Argeliers León. And the teachings of the masters of Cuban painting were very important. ”
Arnaldo Rodríguez Larrinaga, 1980
“Wifredo Lam is my spiritual father—the man who made me change paths right and left, who led me to undo everything that was tying me down, who with his sharp, poking elements, with arrows and lines, was able to make the arrow hit the point where it made me react to see the pictorial universe.”
Arnaldo Rodríguez Larrinaga, 1998
... one of the most renowned Cuban painters today... with an impressive interior world and an idiom that begins with his own identity and goes on to achieve universality.
ABC, Madrid, 2002
His early painting is neither black-focused nor Afro-Cuban, but just Cuban. And it is Cuban, following Ortiz’s thesis, by doing and not by nature, two categories Ortiz lucidly explains in his book El engaño de las razas. The African elements, to give them some sort of name, that can be seen mostly in the shapes in Larrinaga’s work, are the result of a “mental coexistence” with those elements.
(...) Larrinaga abstracts shapes, suppresses, essentializes, without being abstract. In his paintings the visual mysteries of the Antillean environment slowly shift to one side or leap away like gestural escapes that make the painter a sort of Calibanesque expressionist—nothing Cartesian about it.
Juan Sánchez, 1998