A few days ago this small article I wrote about Armando Roblan: an icon of Cuban arts was published in the Artissan Odyssey. Read below... Pictured here around 1961 with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Roblan has been known worldwide for his impersonation of Castro; his double, only Roblan is a much bigger man! (I am not sure whom to give credit for this photograph, there is one similar in the book I was Cuba by Ramiro Fernandez)
The Many Faces of Armando Roblan.
For this historical issue, I had the pleasure to 'sort of' interview, I say sort of because this was not a question and answer session... rather it was just a few hours of listening to this incredible man, with a few inquiries on my part.
For those of you who do not know Armando Roblan, I would like to say that he is larger than life, but not in the typical Hollywood 'Larger than Life' way. No, he is a Super Human Being!
Armando Roblan, or just simply 'Roblan', as he is known in various places of Latin America, the Caribbean, and numerous cities all over the USA, is a very well known and respected actor, impersonator, muralist, comedian, cartoonist and stage designer. Very few people know that he is also a talented painter who attended Cuba's top art school, 'Academia San Alejandro', where he graduated from as painter and sculptor.
Roblan has spent most of his life in front of the cameras, on TV and the theater, and he is very well known for being Fidel Castro's long lasting impersonator. If you see a picture of them together you would think they were Siamese twins... the only difference: the soul. This man, has spent his entire life trying to make people laugh, giving of himself in numerous ways to make others happy. He has a huge soul and an immense heart, therefore they could never be twins in real life.
This past weekend I was honored to have his work in an art show that my gallery participated in; and the reaction from most people when they would see the signature was .... Roblan? The Actor? El Comico? No Way!
Next July I will be having a solo show by Roblan in my gallery. I want him to show his other side. Although he has been in various exhibitions throughout the years, I think he needs to let his public know there is more to him they have not discovered yet. He is pure art, in various forms. He tells me that whenever he is doing something, his comic side pops up, whether painting or dealing with everyday life. It is very visible in some of his work... You see the cartoonist fighting with the serious artist.
When Roblan was a child, he would make all visitors, who came to his house, sit and watch him put on a show using his puppets and he would give them drawings or cartoons he would draw.
He is currently working on a book about his life. I, for one, think he needs to postpone finishing it. His future holds many more anecdotes for the book.
There is a lot to be said about Armando Roblan. This is just a bit... not even the tip of the iceberg; but maybe you'll be interested in knowing more. Maybe you'll want to discover his art.........which one? There are many!