THE REAL REPUBLICA UPDATE: ORLANDO’S PAINTING
In my last post I introduced you to Orlando Diaz, Dominican writer, artist, and intellectual rebel imprisoned during the Trujillo regime. What I didn't introduce you to was his artwork and the story behind how we were able to obtain it. Upon first meeting Orlando at La Cafetera, a small bar-restaurant, he beckoned us to follow him down some of the alleys of La Zona Colonial to see his work.
When we arrived we were in a small restaurant and found ourselves amidst a rather sticky situation. You see, Orlando didn't technically have ownership of the painting he wanted to show us. As it turns out, it was being held as collateral for a small debt that he owed. One sentence in and his inquiry turned into a full-blown dispute between him and the restaurant owner. How unexpected! And just as we were about to be kicked out of the establishment, my travel mate had a brilliant idea–why not ask how much Mr. Diaz owed? We did. He owed the equivalent to $15, a petty debt. So petty that we pulled out our own cash, without Orlando inquiring, of course, and paid the man. Two minutes later we walked out with the painting. We then proceeded to photograph Orlando with his prized work. And now we present you with "Cosmo Mujer" (Cosmo Woman), a celestial piece about a woman in conversation with a butterfly.