Jesús Nicolás Cuéllar, Storyteller
By Ma. de los Ángeles Cuéllar G.
The House of Europe hosted the opening of a great exhibition Friday, June 17, a representative sample of the work of the great San Miguel de Allende painter, Jesús Nicolás Cuéllar. The event full of color and excitement, was organized by Rocío and Miguel Ángel Cervantes, faithful followers of the artist’s work and the driving force behind this pictorial exhibition.
The event was chaired by architect José Gustavo Vidargas, who represented Mayor Ricardo Villarreal and the San Miguel director of culture and education. Also in attendance were renowned painter Peter Leventhal, resident of the city for 27 years; Ivonne de Anda, principal of the House of Europe; and Hortensia Cuéllar, on behalf of the family of the honoree.
Vidargas appreciated the initiative of the organizers and commented, “We will have another exhibition of Don Nicolás in this city soon. His contribution to culture is very great. His work is plentiful, and with legitimate pride, we announce that he is from San Miguel. Most of his work was produced here, with a style so typical that the Parrochia was almost his personal signature. He is the painter from San Miguel to the world.”
Leventhal said, “The work of Nicolás filled me with admiration, is fascinating, immensely creative, and full of originality. I would have liked to be as versatile as he was.” He added in an amused tone, “I like light colors. I dressed in white many times, just as Nicolás [did].”
Cervantes stated that he and his wife met the artist when they were young, while walking along Calle de Jesús, at number 42, where the master lived. They saw an open window with a work on display. “It pulled us like a magnet.” They decided to enter what is now the Cuéllar Gallery, founded by the artist in his own home. “From that time, we fell in love with his work.”
Jesús Cuéllar said that his father was a genius of painting, a teacher with palette and brush, a tireless worker, a hundred percent painter whose passion was the creation of new worlds, in which his creative imagination and aesthetic sensitivity was projected without regret. “His sensibility was amazing. From childhood, he showed that he would become one of the greats of the visual arts.” And so it was.
Seeing some of his works in 1956, Diego Rivera said what we already know: “Nicolás, you will become a monster of painting.” The painter has received multiple epithets, “Dreamweaver” and “Storyteller,” to name a few. In the present exhibition, an attendee named him as “the star of the painters of San Miguel Allende” because his art is consolidated and original, with an easily identifiable style that drives those who know it to express, “This work is a Cuéllar.” The exhibition will be open until July 1.