Puerto Rican painter Arnaldo Roche Rabell, considered to be one of the most important artists of the neo-expressionist movement, died in his birthplace, San Juan, in the early hours of Nov. 17, according to his representative, Walter Ortero.
Roche Rabell, regarded as one of the most important painters of Puerto Rico, died as a result of lung cancer at the age of 62, gallery owner Ortero added in his statement.
He began his training at the Luchetti School of Art in the Santurce district of San Juan, where he had Lope Max Díaz as a teacher, and later studied Architecture at the University of Puerto Rico and Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he obtained his MFA in 1984. From that point forward, he dedicated himself completely to painting.
His work is part of important collections worldwide.
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He participated in numerous international events and won several awards and distinctions from the International Association of Art Critics of Puerto Rico and the grand prize in Painting from the Cumaná International Art Biennial from the Contemporary Art Museum of Cumaná, Venezuela, as well as the national exhibition of painting and sculpture from the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico.
He developed a one-of-a-kind style based on the application of layers of bright colors that he later covered in black and rubbed with the spatula to produce dramatic and revealing images.