Roberto Márquez, Mexican painter in Ukraine “What I am living here is beyond description” by sdmn
Márquez left his peaceful life in Dallas, Texas, to go to Ukraine and make allegorical murals of peace and protest the horrors of war, inspired by the universal Spaniard Pablo Picasso. He has also helped in rescue efforts for victims of the fighting. “What I am experiencing here is beyond description,” he says.
Roberto, “Robentz,” Marquez grabbed his cowboy hat, his jeans, and his paintbrushes, and went with a group of volunteers to rescue corpses from makeshift graves and deliver the bodies to their families, so they can say their proper goodbyes and give them the dignified burial they deserve. “To have a mother standing next to you crying while you are pulling the lifeless body of her son out of a mass grave is something beyond description, unspeakable and something I can never forget,” he tells Sol de Medianoche from some undetermined location in Ukraine.
With the dirty sheets that cover the corpses he rescues, this sixty-year-old Mexican artist, born in Zacatecas, makes the canvases on which he paints the horrors of war. The one that has brought international fame to “Robentz” was done under a bridge destroyed by the Russians, in Irpin, only twelve miles from Kiev. And it has jumped to fame, because it resembles the “Guernica” that Picasso painted against the bombing of the Nazis on that locality of the Basque Country, during the Spanish Civil War (1936 - 1939).
“In this area the Russian invasion began, on the way to Bucha, one of the first cities attacked, about four kilometers from Irpin,” says Roberto Marquez. Like Kharkov, Kherson, Lugansk, Donetsk, Mariupol and so many other localities. “I want to bear witness to the catastrophe that is happening in Ukraine,” says Marquez. He paints murals and photographs them with his cell phone. His paintings denounce the pain of a mother who loses her child, the devastation of Ukrainian cities, the suffering, the anguish, the fear of children and their parents, the injustice. The horror of the savage destruction of a country invaded by Vladimir Putin’s army, because Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenski committed the “crime” of smiling at the West. Roberto is going to donate his paintings to a museum or a gallery, to serve as a testimony of what should never have happened.
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