Tribute to Master Alberto Ulloa

By Felipe Cartagena S.


Following the death of Maestro Alberto Ulloa, the Dominican art world has become saddened. The departure at the wrong time of this great creator has surprised us. After his departure, the art market has experienced a revolution in relation to the collection of his works by collectors, galleries and people who know his career from his studies in Santo Domingo at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes to the Real Academia San Fernando and the Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain. It is that his national and international exhibitions, as well as his prizes and all his achievements not only in painting, but also as a poetic writer and novelist, catapulted him into the world of art.

Ulloa, a detached being with an incalculable human sensibility, physically left us from this world, but left a legacy for which his memory will live forever among us. The undersigned will always defend the work of this great teacher, as a representative to other colleagues, we will work to make his dream come true, such as when he told me "teacher let them alone that today they may not want to pay for the work at their price; but the time will come for which they will fight for it."

Really analyzing the history of Dominican art in relation to artists already deceased, time will define the dimension of our Alberto Ulloa. I think that the best painter is not the most expensive person who sells, but the one who creates the most and has the capacity to transmit his talent and what he wants to express, through his strokes. Ulloa, one of the most complete artists of the Dominican Republic, has left us a powerful heritage that we have to value. Painter, sculptor, ceramist, draftsman and writer, are facets with which he adorns the art and culture of the country. I hope to have the opportunity to see that the cultural institutions of the country spread what this artist has done in his 45 years of work.

When I received the news, the first of October at 8:00 in the morning, I cried disconsolately and said: Alberto Ulloa left this material world, the man departed, the body; but the artist, his thoughts, his feelings and his experiences are left forever reflected in all his artistic work. We will always have with us their outbreak of color in the attractive forms of modeling human figures, in the symmetry of the elements that make up his works and in the conjugation of colors. Ulloa was a great teacher in the field of color, using any of the techniques applied. His works, emotions, expressions, forms or messages, are reflected through his strokes. Ulloa has left the Dominican people a great legacy in each piece of his authorship. According to the Cuban poet and writer Armando Álvarez Bravo: "To look at a painting by Ulloa is the same as facing the mystery of beauty, we can insist that his painting is poetry transformed into images." And as Ulloa expressed in his speech at the Chamber of Deputies: "Art and culture are truly perpetual."

Ulloa was a man of great sensibilities for everything that was part of his surroundings. He concentrated on creating works that will bring values to our Dominican society, such as love among human beings, standing out with his themes "Los amantes", "La llorona", "Ella y él", "Campesinos", and "El amor" . He also highlighted the role played by the environment in our lives through a lively expression of color in allegorical works of nature such as "Alborada", "Cliffs", "Landscapes", "Still life", "The rooster", "La vaca", "El toro" and "Bodegón". In his work he emphasized the face of the human being with diverse themes under the name of everyday figures, such as "María Moñito", "Menchu la loca", "El general", "Payaso", "Torero", "Dorotea", among others.

Passion is the word that best describes the man and his feelings and ingenuity to the artist; he managed to penetrate the minds and hearts of Dominicans to become one of the greatest expressionists in the field of plastic arts in the Dominican Republic. He also wrote books, including a poetry book dedicated to love, entitled "To the sound of love", in which beautiful poems appear.

For this, Shanell Art Gallery, which I preside, will honor him with an exhibition entitled Tribute to Master Alberto Ulloa , on the occasion of the gallery circuit that is held every third Thursday of each month, where we can appreciate an extensive collection of his works during his artistic career. They include paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings and books. I finish inviting you to pay tribute to the one I catalog as the Spanish-American Picasso of this country.

Eng. Luis Felipe Cartagena

Director - Shannell Art Gallery, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Distinguished Member, Art Galleries Association of the Dominican Republic