"I paint like the Old Masters. I am a Renaissance man in the truest sense of the word. I am happiest when I paint the things I love and wish I could make people understand that my art comes from a sacred place. It is a gift I do not take lightly." - Carlos Navarro
Carlos A. Navarro was born in Havana, Cuba. He came with his parents to Miami as a refugee at the age of four. Three years later, while on a trip to New York, his cousin Mercy noticed the precocious young man drawing the city skyline with the Empire State building in the background. Astonished at his ability, since there were no artists in the family, she told his mother, who had no idea he could even draw.
When they returned to Miami, he was presented to Teok Carrasco, a noted artist who was working on the mural for the Ermita de la Caridad (Charity Chapel on Bayshore) at the time. Carrasco recommended that the young artist be put under the guidance and apprenticeship of Felix Ramos, a well known and skilled landscape artist. Ramos was glad to have Carlos with him, but was annoyed at the young artist when he went off task and drew his teacher, since he really loved to paint portraits.
He then sought the advice of Rogelio Perez-Batista, another great artist of Cuba’s San Alejandro School and friend of the family who recommended he leave Ramos’ apprenticeship and seek a portrait teacher. After learning the art of landscape at the Ramos studio for two years and on the advice of family friend Fabiola Naya, another one of Cuba’s great artists from the same school, he moved to the studio of Berta Randin, where his love of portraiture was nourished through studio classes with live models.
Upon graduation as valedictorian from Miami Senior High School, he received a full scholarship to Princeton University from which he was graduated. There, he was the pupil of Joe Brown, noted sculptor, and John Rupert Martin, a world renowned expert on Peter Paul Rubens, whom Carlos admired and studied. Although he received his Bachelor of Arts in history with minors in art and architecture, Carlos chose to pursue teaching and began to teach in Miami. For the following ten years, he trained for the Olympics in the decathlon while, at the same time, painting as a hobby.
In 1987, he received a full athletic scholarship and obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Florida at Gainesville in Educational leadership. In 1992, he decided to start painting in earnest again and opened up a gallery in Coral Gables. classic fine Art. The rigors of teaching and painting took its toll and the gallery was closed less than a year later.
He has traveled extensively in search for the finest art, visiting every one of the worlds great museums, from the Hermitage to the Alte Pinakothec. He has been granted the privilege to paint inside many of them, and has completed several paintings that showcase his talent to copy, such as his “Tribute to Rubens” while at Miami Beach’s Bass Museum and “Head of a monk” at the Ringling in Sarasota Florida. Carlos has exhibited in many different places. He has recently come back from a trip to Florence, Italy, where he spent the summer of 2003 painting at the Florence Academy of Art.
Today, he incorporates history in his art, and paints historical pieces that he can use to help his students better understand the subject he teaches, world history. It is his hope that those who write about art history treat him with the kindness, respect, and love he has shown both professions.
More details coming soon.