Tropicalia and Embody

Tropicalia and Embody

Miami, August 1st, 2011

“Tropicalia”, recent works by Miami based artist Gonzalo Fuenmayor.

September 10th  - November 10th, 2011

 “Tropicalia” examines ideas of dislocation and exoticism through a series of large-scale drawings. Cross-cultural and hybrid identities are explored through obvious and clichéd aspects of tropical culture together with Rococo and Victorian style elements.  

The struggle to imagine cultural specificity is inherent in the intersection of extravagant and decadent 17th and 18th century imagery (chandeliers, mirrors, velvet curtains) along with exuberant tropical landscapes.  Different strategies are employed in order to subordinate the contradictory into a delicate and imaginative order, with the aim of questioning notions of place and belonging.  As the past, the present, the exotic and the familiar collide, absurd and fantastic panoramas arise.

About his new work, Fuenmayor comments, “Both the large format and the use of charcoal to generate light have been essential in these new series. On one hand, it was important that the scale of the images be very close to the objects they referenced, considerably enlarging the size of the drawings. On the other hand, the drawings require much planning, since they start off from a completely white foundation, assigning both the light as well as the darkness, leading roles in the pieces. The dramatic use of light, with either flames or sparkles, is what formally and conceptually unites and gives life to the hybrid imagery”. 


About the artist:

Gonzalo Fuenmayor was born in Barranquilla, Colombia in 1977. He received an MFA from School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA in 2004, and a BFA in Fine Arts and Art Education from School of Visual Arts in 2000, where he was awarded a full tuition scholarship from the Keith Haring Foundation. His drawings are included at the Drawing Center’s Flat Files, and has been awarded numerous awards including the Stacey Sussman Traveling Award in 2000, Silas Rhodes Family Award in 2000, and recently, granted Third place at the 2011 All-Media Juried Biennial at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, FL. Gonzalo Fuenmayor has exhibited in solo and group shows in the USA, Colombia and Europe; he participated at Colombia’s 42nd National Artist Salon- Caribbean Zone in 2009, ArteCámara 2010, Florida Contemporary 2011 at the Naples Museum in FL, and recently highlighted in the New American Paintings #88 South Edition as an Editor’s Pick.  He currently lives and works in Miami, FL.

“Since his first exhibition in Bogotá, in 2003, Fuenmayor has demonstrated to be a serious artist who lends himself to experimentation and adventure. His strength has been the fantastic, not in terms of implausible imagery, but in odd associations, which are possible and significant. In Fuenmayor there is no room for shallow humor or the obvious; his humor is critical and calculating causing the viewer to think, not just smile at something pretty. Gonzalo Fuenmayor has expressed that his work combines the tragic and the decorative, not in the sense of adorning for adorning sake, but in that of giving satisfaction to the tastes and needs of the gaze in its most constructive sense.” Alvaro Medina, art critic.


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