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Bulls, Boats, Fish, Faces and Fruit: Nicaraguan painter Efren Medina

Before we leave Nicaragua, we hope to pick up a really nice piece of art.  We still haven’t decided on what that will be, but so far one of the most interesting painters we’ve seen (and actually have met) is Efren Medina.

Medina was born in Leon, Nicaragua and has participated in exhibitions all over the world.  He now has a permanent gallery in Managua that displays his work along with other artists, including his son Camilo.  His work is very recognizable in Nicaragua.  Most of his paintings are variations on five subjects: the female face, boats, the guapote fish, bulls, and fruit – usually watermelon, pitahaya, limes and pears.

The guapote fish is found in the massive freshwater Lake Nicaragua. Guapo means handsome. Guapote means super-handsome.  According to a tour guide we met in Granada, the fish’s name is a joke because it’s actually extremely ugly.  I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it tastes good. Medina manages to make the guapote fish actually look guapo.

He usually works with a bright palette of blues, oranges, reds and whites.  With a few exceptions, Medina always incorporates a strong horizon into his scenes.

The four paintings above and many more are available for purchase on Artelista.  All photos from Artelista.

What local artists have you found on your travels? Has your art traveled well? Did you still enjoy the piece when you moved on? As you can see, I want to think this all through before we take the plunge of buying a piece of art that is not a screen print concert poster.

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. I like the bull.

    February 6, 2011
  2. I forgot to answer your question. We have some art we purchased in Argentina from street artists, on our honeymoon : some photos, some hand colored images. We still like them very much.

    February 6, 2011
  3. I love the art and am glad you’re supporting a local artist! You’re right about the original art being much better than buying a print at a store somewhere.

    February 7, 2011
  4. Rebecca #

    I love it! That last one, especially. We have yet to put in a serious commitment to a piece of art from our travels – but I want to!

    February 7, 2011
  5. Al #

    I have always made it my goal to buy art for major souvenirs when I travel. Personally, I love oil paintings and I have them from several places I have been to or lived in, including Paris, Rome (multiple), Ireland, Morocco, Northern Virginia and now Belize. In places where oil has not really been an option, I have bought whatever the local handicraft is. Transporting with the State Dept. was no problem

    February 13, 2011
  6. eve #

    I like the first and last. So glad to hear when people are supportive of the arts. Especially local stuff. I really don’t think there is a better souvenir! Just imagine the stories the walls of your “home” will tell after a few more tours. I think that’s what I love about it. There’s always a story behind original artwork. Enjoyed the murals too! Great shots.

    February 16, 2011

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