This exhibition will feature works by Cuban born artist, Cuban Nationals and artists that have traveled abroad and have Cuban centric Art Work.
Saturday March 31st from 6-9pm
Curated by Martha De Perez & Edgar Varela (EVFA)
Featured artists include:
I feel divinely driven to tell, through my artwork, the stories of my family in Cuba and of my ancestors’ suffering, with a realization that I am their dream come true.
I attempt to thematically expose the paradigm of the suffering that we Cuban people have endured for generations, juxtaposed against the resilient faces and the splendid flora of the beautiful Caribbean island in which I was born. I don’t tire in telling our stories of suffering, for there is joy to be found even in suffering.
It was through my mother’s suffering in which I came into this world, and it will be in my children’s suffering through which I will depart to heaven. Similarly, it was through my parents’ suffering and great sacrifice in which I left Cuba and came to this country. As my friend, author Deborah Gregory once told me, “Suffering is the touchstone of creativity.”
Much of what I paint comes from the complex Afro-Cuban culture of my childhood in Regla. I am not an expert on this culture, just a witness to what I experienced as a young man. That is the perspective of youth where everything blends together with no sense of logic. Later in school, I learned that much of what I saw originated beyond Cuba in Africa, China, Spain, and other parts of the world.
In school I learned such disciplines as perspective and rendering. These were useful to me when I worked with architects and designers in Cuba and later when I worked as a commercial artist in the United States. I was never ashamed of this work because it paid the bills and allowed me to live modestly so I could do my fine art.
The discipline and focus that is used in commercial art, I always applied to my painting. Over the years my technique has changed from the simplicity of childhood drawings, the abstract expressionism of my “Los Once” days, to the more reflective symbolic style that I use now, which has elements of the earlier phases. My subject matter has always been Cuba, whether it is workers in the fields, fishermen in ports, Afro-Cuban mythology, rural landscapes, or children playing in the street.
In my art I try to communicate my amazement at the diversity of humankind that I see around me. Sometimes I try to show the relationship between music and the visual arts. Other times I try to pay homage to the great artists of the past. I always return to the rich canvas of my childhood where so many elements blended together in so many colors and sounds.
is an Emmy Award winning designer/director based out of Los Angeles. He has applied his unique visual style across a variety of mediums, from print and multimedia to TV and film. As a director, his music video work has been featured on MTV and shown to international acclaim throughout film festivals in Europe and Asia. Despite his varied interests, photography has always been a part of Clay’s life. Within the last couple of years, he has experienced a renewed interest with the medium. He is now passionately focused on pursuing photography as fine art, free from clients and limitless in creative possibilities. Clay is self-taught and strives to create images that can stand the test of time. “My work is inspired by the ever changing landscape of the modern world. In general I strive to capture the beauty of nature, depict the complex nature of man and find the hidden nuances in between.”
Juan Jesus Perez
was born December 21, 1935 in Sagua La Grande, Las Villas, Cuba. He had the resources to attend the largest private school “El Carmen” in the city of Sagua. While in school Juan had the opportunity to study under Professor Jorge Wong, who taught Juan how to paint a mural, watercolors and to work with textiles. Juan graduated from The School of Provencial Artes Plasticas Leopoerdo Romanach, one of the largest schools in the region.
Juan went on to become and educator and taught art in the City of Santa Clara, where he worked for the school district as a teacher of Industrial Arts. After years of teaching he was terminated from his position because he did not agree with the country political ideals, at this time Juan became a muralist and was enlisted to paint murals all over Cuba.
Juan moved to Spain in 1972 for a period of four years where he spent time painting political murals under the Franco Regime in Madrid and eventually landing commercial work as an artist.
In 1976 Juan arrived in the United States and settled in California. Juan eventually began to work with the Department of Water and Power until he retired. He maintained his artistic craftsmanship by painting all the signage for DWP. Now Juan is retired and paints in his Los Angeles studio and has had his work exhibited in numerous exhibitions.
I was Born in “Philli” in 1967. Dad is Cuban; mom is American. I am based in Hollywood. I have a BFA from Hartwick College and an MFA from Vermont College Fine Arts. I have exhibited in the USA, Germany, Spain, Ecuador and Argentina. One notable award: In junior high school I won third place in Dade County for showing how alcohol is distilled. I basically built a “still”. That’s a sculpture, right? Notable solo exhibitions include the Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Lehigh University and Miami Dade College. Both the Lehigh University and the Herbert F. Johnson museum were dedicated to my lighted works, which confirm that even in the dark, works of art can continue to provide expression. The Miami-Dade Community College exhibition was a retrospective of over forty works, including sculptures, paintings and collages. At the moment, my focus is in deconstructing the human body then reconstructing it in terms of visual metaphors and puns. The time consuming process of developing spatial relations is undeniable. The line is the basis for those spatial relations and the thread that connects and completes the visual narratives of my pieces. In essence, the talisman, masks and collages are all layered, profound and clever…..“one-liners”.
For more information contact Urban Sanctuary
Gallery Address: 2026 E. 1st, Boyle Heights, CA 90033
Gallery Number: 323-580-2422.