The Venezuelan artist is living in Bucharest and is currently building a promising career in this country
The Venezuelan Cultural Week hosted by Bucharest this year started with the inauguration of the Exhibition featuring paintings and drawings by the talented and creative Venezuelan artist, Humberto Miquilena, who is living in Bucharest and is currently building a promising career in this country. His paintings are about places in Venezuela, a country where colors are different from what he discovered in Romania. Born in Caracas, Humberto Miquilena is now living in Romania, a country he has become very fond of and which drew him closer to what back in Venezuela was just a hobby.
Humberto Miquilena: “Music and painting, for me, back in Venezuela, were just hobbies, since my job is that of graphic designer. I used to paint and play the guitar in my home country when I had inspiration. I cannot say what happened when I came to Europe. It was a revelation, a kind of magnetism that drew me to art. The first country I visited was Italy, a country with a huge culture known for its famous painters and sculptors. Before coming to Romania I did a little bit of reading on this country. It was very interesting to discover that it is the only Latin country in Eastern Europe with an Orthodox population. There are many things that draw you to this country. The truth is I feel at home here, I told my wife that I speak 70% Romanian and I am 30% Romanian.”
Humberto Miquilena believes that Latin Americans and Romanians have a lot in common, and he speaks nicely about both cultures: “I like this country very much, I like Romanian humor which is similar to the Latin American humor. The Romanian language is similar to Italian but, to me, it is more like Spanish. Spanish has 5 vowels while Romanian has 7. Pronunciation and spelling are different. Also the climate is different. When I meet my friends, we make jokes about the concept of ‘staying in the draught’. We do not think in terms of draught. In Venezuela we leave the windows open because it is very hot. I remember the first time I came here in 2011. In was in Rome, there were 14 degrees C outside, and after two hours, when I reached Romania, the temperature was minus 1 degree C. I had never experienced such low temperatures. Thermometers read 11 degrees in Buenos Aires. Also the food is different, it is influenced by the climate. In Romania dishes mainly consist of pork and vegetables. And Romania is a culturally-rich country”.
Tavi Colen Band is a Romanian pop-rock band born out of its members’ passion for music. Humberto Miquilena joined this band almost 2 years ago: “I met Tavi Colen about two and a half years ago, before joining the band. He was looking for someone who played the bass guitar. I had told some of my friends, who are musicians, that I could play the guitar and sing. Nobody knew me. A friend recommended me. I joined the band and have been playing with them for 2 years now. It was fate. It was difficult in the beginning, because he has a very good voice, he is one of the best singers in Romania. He combines traditional music with rock and classical music. I used to play rock and roll back in Venezuela. It was easier. Here I had to learn Romanian traditional songs and a little classical music. It was a challenge for me, but I think I’ve made it.”
Humberto Miquilena’s experience in Romania has helped him develop. He feels he is lucky because he met many people who believed in him and appreciated his talent. He is a Venezuelan but is now living far from his country of origin and he believes he needs to offer something to the country that received him. In his opinion, Romania is open to the arts. Humberto Miquilena believes that his coming to live in Romania was not an accident, nothing happens without a reason. He thinks Romania has something luring that he cannot explain in words. He likes walking in Bucharest and taking photos of old buildings. He is thrilled by the co-existence of old and new buildings and he is enjoying everything that he’s experiencing in this country.
(translation by Lacramioara Simion)