The Oslo Caribbean Festival aims to showcase a broad variety of Latin-American and Afrocaribbean culture. Three times we have had an art exhibition as part of the festival program, with sculptures and with paitings.This year we have invited the Uruguayan multi-talented artist Esteban Isnardi, who lives in Geneva, Switzerland.

A part from teaching Cuban dances, writing poetry, song lyrics for a great variety of salsa artists and even documentary books, he is a talented caricaturist. He has even become the ‘Official caricaturist of the famous Los Van Van’ and has made drawings of an impressive amount of famous musicians and dancers.

Esteban is bringing some 25 of his caricature drawings to Oslo Caribbean later this month, which you will be able to enjoy exposed at the festival venue Quality Hotel 33 during the whole festival. And of course, when we have the great pleasure of having such a talented artist in town, Esteban will also be contributing with a talk during the Rhythmical Forum Saturday afternoon, and he will of course also give a couple of dance workshops.

Estaban’s first contact with salsa was when he was very young, at four or five years old, because his uncle, who would later become a Protestant pastor, was a trumpet player in a Uruguayan salsa orchestra. He was a very important figure in Uruguay, because he fought against the military dictatorship.

The drums and the salsa rhythm aroused a passion in Esteban, who learned to dance in Uruguay and Argentina before coming to Switzerland at the age of 14 as a refugee with his parents. His first academic training was as a draftsman at the Swiss School of Decorative Arts, working with graphic artists. He then began to publish in magazines and newspapers in Switzerland, France, Italy and Uruguay, in his twenties. Traveling as a caricaturist, he was an active salsa dancer, and would later start teaching the various Cuban styles, which has been his professional life ever since.

Do you recognize who this is? Come and see this and many more drawings during Oslo Caribbean Festival 22-24 of October.