Noel is the living embodiment of the passion and talent required by all great artists, which is reflected in his ever-evolving work.
He is recognized as one of a small number of artists whom Miami’s ascendency to the world cultural stage is reflected in the lifetime of his career. His style is an amalgam of structure and dreams, reality and mythology, the sensual and the divine. Collectively, the tapestry of his work creates an artistic uniqueness that is characteristic of all great artists. Cuban-born Noel was raised in the environment of a theatrical family and started his ballet training at the Escuela Provincial de Ballet de la Habana at age 5. He also studies drawing and painting at Havana’s Academy of San Alejandro. Noel’s professional dancing career includes the renowned Alberto Alonso’s in Cuba with whom he toured throughout Europe and Canada. Prior to the Alonso’s, he danced with Havana’s Opera Ballet. Noel arrived in the U.S. in 1981 after an eight-month engagement as Principal Dancer and Teacher with Costa Rica’s Compañia Nacional de Danza. In the US he danced with Ballet Concerto, Dance Miami, Boston Ballet II and New England Dinosaur Dance Company. While dancing he was also given the opportunity to design sets and costumes for the companies he danced with. Due to a knee injury, Noel retired from dancing in 1986 and pursued a career as an Artist. Some of his commissions for private and corporate collections include; murals for the Ritz Plaza Hotel in Miami Beach, Grove Isle Hotel in Coconut Grove, for which he also created the fountain at its entrance. He also created the murals for San Diego’s Paradise Point Hotel. Argentinian author Alicia Borinsky selected two of Noel’s paintings for her book jackets. He was also commissioned to create a portrait of the late Eartha Kitt, who became a collector and mentor. Noel served on the City of Miami Beach Fine Arts Board for five years. In his theatrical works include DIFFA’s 1993 production of “Acts of Hope” as Artistic Director while also creating the event’s commemorative poster. DIFFA invited Noel again to stage DIFFA’s Production Collection Rouge for its Miami premiere. The University of Miami commissioned Noel to create sets, costumes, and lighting designs for the World Premier of the National Ballet of Cuba Prima Ballerina Rosario Suarez, for her ballet “Cecilia Valdez.”
Absolut Vodka commissioned Noel to create the commemorative poster for the 1989 Absolut Models for Boston to benefit the Homeless. Later on, Absolut again chose Noel to create one of the umbrellas for the “DIFFA’s Pink Umbrellas Project” and then again for the DIFFA Dallas Jacket Collection. In his personal fight against AIDS, Noel created a stable of paintings to benefit this very personal cause. “We Shall Overcome” to benefit the Boston AIDS Action Committee for their ARTcetera 88 auction, New York’s AIDS Relief Fund for New York’s “Beauty & Beyond‘98” to benefit Beauty Cares. For South Florida’s largest AIDS organization Care Resource, Noel was the featured Artist for its Miami White Party creating the iconic “Sueno Blanco” and again “Universal Love” for Care Resource’s 20th anniversary. Noel was also selected to create the painting for their Miami’s AIDS Walk 2000 Poster. He was also chosen to create the Commemorative painting for First Night Miami Beach 2000 Millennium Celebration. As a result of all his paintings created to benefit AIDS, he was asked to create the panel representing Miami on the National AIDS Quilt Display. His works has generated an amazing amount of funds for AIDS Organizations Nationwide. The City of Miami Beach selected Noel to design five Flamingos for the Art in Public Places Flamingo Project.
Noel was asked to create the Commemorative painting for First Night Miami Beach 2000 Millennium Celebration. The City of Miami Beach also selected Noel to design five Flamingos for the Art in Public Places Flamingo Project. He collaborated with fellow artist Romero Britto creating five large unique paintings. Another unique collaboration with the Uberto Gucci/Gucci family premiered in Florence and later in Miami Beach’s Art Basel. He also participated in the prestigious International Art Exhibit at the Carrousel of the Louvre Museum, and his portrait of Fashion Icon Patricia Field is part of the Keith Haring Museum collection in Japan. He’s been featured three times on the “100 Contemporary Artists of the World Book” published by the European Library of Artists, the “100 Artists of the Male Image” published by Schiffer Publishing, and “The World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today-Volume 4” by ES Publishing. “The Miami Beach Arts Trust gave Noel the “Theatre Visionary Award” and the City of Miami Beach named November 17th “Noel Suarez Day”. He also served on the City of Miami Beach Fine Arts Board for five years. Noel is part of Oceania’s Artist In Residence Program and is represented by Torosiete Museum. He is recognized as one of the small numbers of artists whom Miami’s ascendency to the World’s cultural stage reflects in his career. His work is always evolving capturing the attention of the World’s youthful art enthusiasts and well-educated collectors.
Hi Noel! Tell us a few words about yourself. When did you begin doing art and how did you get started?
Noel: At the age of four I started drawing which got my family’s attention and those in Havana’s Art community, this is how it all started.
You were born and raised in Cuba, it is the environment of a theatrical family. How much do you think your art is still influenced by your birthplace?
Noel: My talents and creativity are 100% the result of my life in Cuba. Living in a family of artists surrounded by other artists and the elite of Havana’s arts, nurtured me and created the opportunities to develop careers with both of
You are a well-established artist and recognized as one of a small number of artists whom Miami’s ascendency to the world cultural stage is reflected in the lifetime of your career. What in your opinion does an artist need to achieve such results?
Noel: An Artist needs to be true and honest to their passion, have the need to create and discipline, which is a “MUST.” Opportunities, recognition, credibility, and value happens as a result of all of the above. It is also very
important to accept criticism and understand that others see and perceive our work from a different point of view and angle.
You describe your style as an amalgam of structure and dreams, reality and mythology, the sensual and the divine. Please tell us more about that.
Noel: Those terms were used by writers in previous interviews. They do describe the feelings and inspirations behind my creativity. It has all to do with my theatrical background. The stage is a blank canvas that needs to be
filled with characters, costumes, sets, and lighting in order to transport the viewer to a whole other world, dimension.
What is a day of working like in your studio? Do you have any rituals that help you get motivated or in “the zone”?
Noel: I gave up on rituals or formats a long time ago. “The zone” doesn’t exist, it needs to be created when art is one’s business. Fortunately, my mind is always creating so I do quick small-format sketches as ideas and
inspirations arrived. I travel often with my exhibits and Artist in Residences, so I also sketch and take photos of elements and moments that later become paintings.
How do you see the inspiration for your work growing and changing?
Noel: It changes and grows constantly, as I do personally. Art is all about “being in the moment,” therefore the result will be a creation that describes perfectly the moment when artist and time become one.
What is your most recent piece of art that you have enjoyed working on the most?
Noel: it is always the one that I’m currently working on, even if I’m working on several pieces at once…which I do often.
Do you see your art as serving a purpose beyond art?
Noel: Absolutely! Besides the personal connection that thankfully many have with my art, from the start my work has served as visual identification and raised funds for several charities and organizations nationwide.
What advice would you give to upcoming artists, how to think out-of-the-box and grow?
Noel: To grow artistically and personally, an artist definitely has to get out-of-the-box. You have to hang tight to the authenticity and truth of your creativity while understanding that your work needs to connect with people in order to have a career as an artist.
What’s next on the horizon for Noel?
Noel: Very excited about the private commissions I’m currently working on, as well as the exhibits and projects in the works with Torosiete Museum. Also looking forward to upcoming Oceania’s Artist in Residence starting on
November/2021 through January/2023.