The Artist will exhibit this as well as several other bodies of work made in the last five years, mostly dealing with abstracted landscapes. Heria is one of the winners of the 2007 South Florida Cultural Consortium in the Visual Arts.
My work has always been a search of a place and a clan I could call my own. Born in New Jersey to Cuban immigrant parents, I am part of a subculture known as Cubichis. Subsequently, I have wholeheartedly belonged to two worlds while being truly integrated to neither. Whether it’s gardens on the roadsides I travel in my town or the personal vision of trees as atmospheric phenomena, there’s a seeking-to-feel-right-and-whole with the subject at a deeply personal level. I enjoy the medium of photography for this quest; it has an uncanny ability to record faithfully the scene depicted while creating surprising new relationships simultaneously. It is the learning and exploring through surprise that interests me most as an artist.
This exhibition comprises four seperate bodies of work completed between 2000 and 2008.
And the sky went on forever…
In developing this series, it is my passion for the incredible dynamism of the sky that drives the work. I obsessively photograph the sky and clouds, often while driving (crazy, I know). The clouds will start with one pattern on either end of the highway I travel and continue reforming itself as I get to the other end, whether driving east or west. Every moment, they are transmuting in a very grand manner, forming remarkable patterns and shapes in combinations beyond my own imagination’s capacity to invent. When I take these forms and put them together, they congeal into the most spectacular sky in an impossible way.
City and Sky
The result of several years of watching the sky over the city of Miami, this project is a tapestry woven over time. The ever-changing landscape above us looks different every hour of every day; meanwhile, we enjoy/suffer nearly continuous un-changing climate year round. The extremes are visual here in South Florida. One minute the sky is cloudless blue, the next a raging thunderhead rolls in from the west and deluges parts of the city. The sun finds its way through this, creating kaleidoscopic colors above.
What draws me are the secret moments of peace surrounded by the amazing roar of vehicles speeding by; sometimes, they honk at me. The curiosity, too, is the re-contextualized space: such lovely gardens nestled just within concrete and asphalt interstate highways. The work represents walking through my fears about being so out in the open with myself and my perception of beauty. The panoramic layout of the road, flowing from one side to the other then onto the manicured landscape, lends itself to picture-making with a wide angle lens and more than one image.
By accident, working with a cheap plastic camera, I double exposed an image of a tree with a close-up shot of my own face. It seemed I was melting into the drooping, sinewy roots of a great ficus. I then set out to do this with intent on trees wherever I found them. The results amazed me. Each frame took on a life of its own, and was a mystery to me. A great change has come about in my relationship to subject and camera. This series allows for a much more democratic collaboration between myself, the camera and the subject. Every image is a complete surprise to me. It is the unknown I seek in the image, less of the obvious and more of the atmosphere surrounding it.
The 08/09 visual arts season is supported by Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz; and the John C. Graves Charitable Fund.