Graphite is an Honest Means.


We are very happy to share some art work from Cuban-born artist Federico E. Rodríguez Guerra. We’ll let Federico do the talking, along with his fine drawings.

but it will

Drawing for me has become a metaphor for knowing a world that can only be known when one surface touches the other and conveys ideas, thoughts, feelings as the surface of the paper and that of the pencil touch or not. Something about it has to feel right, honest. My first instinct is to grab an envelope or scrap of paper and work through these surfaces the image.


I was born in Cuba and the experience of exile is still part of my work. My drawings are small. On average 2″ X 3″. I always find myself limiting my means, an 2H and HB, aiming always to explore and exploit the colors of graphite. More than texture, it’s color tone than I’m engaged with. I work on a chair with a small wooden board and a box – in which I keep drawings and paper – across my lap.  Always ready to go and start elsewhere. Avoiding always any disruption to the drawing.

before the cock crows twice

Graphite is an honest means, it’s not an extension of the arm but part of it. Le Corbusier said that drawing “leaves less room for lies”.  To paraphrase Joyce and Beckett: drawing is not about it, but drawing it. Of course these are all promises that I’ve made myself over and over again, and see no end. So I continue.

together alone

Check out more of Federico’s work at federico´s drawings: los dibujos de federico e. rodriguez guerra.

(Images, text, FERG. Used with kind permission.)

One Response to “Graphite is an Honest Means.”

  1. The strongest, most fascinating work that I’ve experienced in a lifetime of creating, working with and studying visual art myself.

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