It is Marice Ettlin Caro, my spouse and the love of my life that I acknowledge first for sharing her life with me and helping me to become a better person. With all my imperfections I tried to do the same with her. Of course I love my children and my family but that is pure biology. I did not choose my family but I did choose Marice. .
On this 2008, "retired" from SCIENCE and MEDICINE after 40 glorious years and continuing my devotions to my FAMILY I shall start a new journey into ART.
I recognize that I shall never finish this work. It will be easy and relatively boreing to review what it was done. But planning what is left to do will be impossible because when I finish one project the next will start. Or it might be that when I become older I will lose the excitment of wondering what is next. Then I will be able to finish. I guess that is what I will call death even if I am alive.
I will organize this web by a series of questions.
Second question - Why do I want to start a new journey in to art?
My great granduncle, Rafael Eiroa, was an artist in the late IXX century Spain. One of his paintings was in my parents’ home which I could see from my bedroom. It was a middle age woman sitting in a dilapidated straw chair. Her face was void of expression, her eyes unfixed and gazed into space. It was almost as if she was waiting to catch the opportunity she did not have. Every night I fell to sleep thinking about her, about opportunities, the future, and most definitively that I wanted to paint like my uncle Rafael.
After the Spanish Civil war, my family like many others immigrated to America looking for the freedom they did not have under the fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco. I still remember vividly those 21 days crossing the ocean aboard the ship Buena Esperanza (Good Hope). My uncle’s large canvas painting was carefully removed from the frame by my father, rolled and stored into a trunk labeled “memories from Spain”.
We settled in Uruguay, a small country between Argentina and Brazil, made entirely of European descendants. Uruguay was nicknamed the “Switzerland of l America”. For it was the prospect of freedom, education and opportunity that lured my family to transplant from Spain to Uruguay. Many years had passed before my mother decided to open the trunk. The canvas was severely damaged. At every turn of the flattened roll the oil paint had chipped away. I was a teenager and had forgotten the woman sitting in a chair. Nevertheless, my parents knowing my interest for art suggested that I repair her. I bought oils and brushes and I did it! I knew then what I wanted to become. But when I told my father about my desire to enter the school of art he said “study son, you will always have time to paint”.
I became a physician and soon after graduation I moved to the USA with my wife and daughter looking for freedom and opportunities, like my parents did. It has been a great 40 years journey but I never found time to paint like my father said.
Thus, I left medicine and science at age 60 to find time to paint. Over the last three years I found the joy of the opportunity but also the need of a formal education in art so that I can translate what I imagine into color and shapes. But I do not want to occupy a seat at the Academy of Art University at my age just to satisfy a capriccio of my childhood.
Metamorphosis/evolution/transformation/change...we must accept, embrace and not be afraid of. The power of a role model, of someone saying “I want to be like you”. There is no doubt that my life experiences in medicine will influence my perception and doing of art. And how I will loop in my learning of art back into medicine and society at large is only in my imagination. Will I have enough time? But if only a few in my social network, that are frozen in their success or misery, have the courage of real transformation, I would say this effort is not in vain. And it does not appear to be in vain since my youngest son Rafael came to see me yesterday suggesting his interest in art. After reading this statement of intent he smiled and firmly said “I will start a carreer in art this fall semester”. If I finish wanting to paint like my uncle Rafael and my son Rafael, I would say it is not a bad way to end.
I would say this effort is not in vain...from a colleague
Dear Dr. Caro:
I should tell you I read your web page entitled "Family, Science and Art of Jose F Caro" and I found it really interesting. To be honest, it made me think about life and what life is about.
At the end of the day, it seems that the most important thing to a person is family and friends. No matter how successful one has been in his career, how many papers published, how many marathons run,... at the end is people around you that counts.
I'm far from many people that I love, and again, reading your page made me think what is really important in life.
Thank you for sharing it.
And...I would say this effort is not in vain...from my daughter Marina
I was moved to tears viewing your website. Without a doubt even if tomorrow never comes you have lived a full life filled with love and amazing talents and accomplishments. I will always hold in my memory when we watched the movie "mi familia" and the closing scene when despite all the drama in one lifetime the family endured the main character turns to his wife at old age and says "we had a good life".....i love u and I wouldnt be who I am without u and moms support. never stop painting........
This effort is not in vain...from a medical student on Christmas 2011. What could it be better than this to complete my transformation?
Hello Dr. Caro. I absolutely love the pastel. You are so talented. I remember you when I was in my medical training at ECU medical school/PCMH. I finished in pediatrics/neonatology. May God continue to bless you and your edeavours in art in 2012.
One of my best visiting scientist from Italy
these are my Jewels. I am very proud of them.
I have to say that I am in the USA and I have married an american, because of that visiting period in Greenville, with you, that has revolutionized my life perspective.
Your art work is great and I know you are happy, you have always been and always will be.
I look forward seeing you and Marice.
Clearly you are always welcome in San Antonio, in our house.
From my best former Chief Medical Residents at Jefferson Medical College
Someone forwarded me the link to your web site. Your paintings are great. Your love for your family is evident throughout!
I am still at Jefferson, but I work in the Dean's Office now as Associate Dean for GME. I just wanted you to know I realize that this wouldn't have been possible if you hadn't given me a chance as a new faculty member years ago! Let me know if you are ever in Philadelphia
From a Graduate Student at East Carolina University
Hi Dr. Caro,
Thank you for accepting my invitation and congratulations on your 'second' career. While at ECU, I always appreciated your clinical acumen and lectures and, having viewed some of your works, it is apparent that you artistic skills are equally well honed. I have always appreciated fine art and have visited many of the worlds most vaunted art galleries. Similar to yourself, I had an aunt who was a gifted artist; however, unlike yourself that particular locus did not translocate into my DNA as I have trouble drawing stick figures! If you watched the movie Amadeus, you could liken it to Salieri and Mozart in that Salieri had the capacity to recognize genius yet lacked the ability to create a work of genius. The work I saw on your link of the 3 girls was absolutely stunning. Not certain what your take is on certain 'modern' art works; however, I have seen some (such as a canvass painted in a solid blue color that Christie's was auctioning with an estimated bid of $1,000,000.00) that I firmly believe I could adequately reproduce. What you achieve with your work is not only aesthetically pleasing in a way that transforms the senses, but also demands a moment of pause based on the sheer technical accomplishment involved in creating such a work. My hats off to you on your latest endeavor and take care--.
From a very good artist