June 7 - August 18, 2019
When inanimate objects reflect cultural concerns, historical narratives, and playful humor, it becomes clear that artists project their impressions of history into figurative works to better understand contemporary society. The sculptures, puppets, and installations in Personify engage new audiences and ask for participation while exploring this interplay. Art-making activities will be available for gallery visitors and tour groups in an installation by Jim Hammond in the Interactive Room. In the Immersive Gallery, marionettes by Pablo Cano will be on view, along with an installation series by Jeanne Jaffe that is based on the life and inventions of Nikola Tesla. Body textiles by Israeli artist Gili Avissar reflect his time spent in Miami this past spring at Fountainhead Residency. Works by Bernadette Despujols will blend fashion with human hair and reference orifices, while Aurora Molina infuses the personal and the political in her figurative works. Ernesto Oroza introduces a propaedeutic machine as an object to teach dancing among other sculptures in an online video of a Cuban creator. A work by Jacolby Satterwhite will be exhibited, courtesy of artist Pepe Mar.
Pablo Cano is a pioneer among South Florida artists and is regarded as a premier artist in his field of puppetry. Born in Havana, Cuba in 1961, Cano was on the last flight out of the country before the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. He has lived in Miami’s Little Havana since, creating puppets, marionettes and performance sets from discarded debris he gets from trash bins, thrift shops, and admirers who support his work. His influences include Cubist bricolage, the color palette of Russian Constructivist Alexandra Exter, and the mechanics of the pieces in Alexander Calder’s “Circus.” Selected by New Times as South Florida’s Best Artist in its 2011 “Best of” issue, Cano said recently, “My father encouraged me to pursue my dreams and often stated that he preferred I struggled as an artist than work at something that oppressed my imagination and spirit.”
Jim Hammond has won much-deserved acclaim in Broward County for helping popularize the annual Florida Day of the Dead celebration held each November since 2010 in downtown Fort Lauderdale. After receiving his MA in Puppetry Design from the University of Connecticut, Hammond created Sideshow Productions in 1996 and has since designed personified objects for such clients as Florida Grand Opera, New World Symphony, Florida Philharmonic, and Broward Center for the Performing Arts. In 2002, he worked in the puppet department of Disney’s The Lion King national tour and is past Executive Director of the Puppet Festival of the Americas.
Jeanne Jaffe is the recipient of fellowship grants from the Gottlieb Foundation, the Independence Foundation, Mino Artist Residency in Japan, National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Leeway Foundation, and Virginia A. Groot Foundation. She is a two-time finalist in sculpture for the Pew Fellowship in the Arts award. Jaffe has had artist’s residency fellowships at Yaddo Artists Colony, Rutgers’s Innovative Printmaking Workshop, New Jersey Printmaking Council, Schuylkill Center, Yellow Springs Institute, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is a Professor of Sculpture at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She has also taught at Tyler School of Art and Swarthmore, as well as in a multi-disciplinary program at the Annenberg Center Arts in Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
A multi-disciplinary artist born in Haifa in 1980, Gili Avissar currently lives and works in Tel Aviv. Avissar gained his BFA and MFA at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and has since created numerous large-scale textile installations and videos. Avissar is the recipient of The Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport Prize for Young Artists (2012), The Rabinovich Art Foundation Award (2012, 2010), and the Isracard and Tel Aviv Museum Prize for Israeli Artist (2010).
Bernadette Despujols is an artist and architect who works with a variety of materials to create works that question gender and the perception of women by society and themselves. She studied architecture at the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV), where she graduated with honors in 2007. She earned an MFA in Visual Arts from the California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) in 2010.
Aurora Molina was born in Havana, Cuba in 1984 and emigrated to the United States at the age of 16, where she pursued an education in art. Molina received her Associates of Arts in Visual Arts from Miami Dade College, a Bachelors in Fine Arts specializing in Mixed Media from Florida International University, and Masters Degree in Contemporary Art at the Universidad Europea de Madrid in 2009. She is represented by Bernice Steinbaum Gallery.
Ernesto Oroza’s practice channels the tradition of Radical Architecture into his own analytical employment of contemporary object typologies and productive forces. Oroza’s work has been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Groninger Museum, The Netherlands; LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Spain; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; Institut de Cultura La Virreina, Barcelona. He has participated twice in the Saint-Etienne International Design Biennial, Saint-Etienne, France. Oroza has been awarded fellowships by the Guggenheim Foundation; Christoph Merian Foundation, Basel, Switzerland; Danish Center for Cultural Development; and Ludwig Foundation.
Jacolby Satterwhite is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses video, performance, 3D animation, drawing, fiber and printmaking to explore themes of memory, desire, and personal and public mythology. Born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1986, Satterwhite lives and works in New York. He was a featured artist in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and his work has recently been included in the following exhibitions, among others: Sundance Film Festival (2014); How Lovely is Me Being As I Am, OHWOW Gallery, Los Angeles (2014); Step and Repeat, MOCA, Los Angeles (2014); Radical Presence, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2014), and The House of Patricia Satterwhite, Mallorca Landings, Mallorca (2013). He has exhibited at Monya Rowe Gallery, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Bronx Museum; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; The New Museum, New York; MoMA P.S.1, Queens; and multiple exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem.
Jen Clay is a South Florida-based multimedia artist who creates textiles and animations for performance, video works and site-specific installations. She received her Masters in Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Florida while also studying costume design and behavior analysis. Clay researches encounters with the unknown which includes horror and science fiction movies, television shows, H.P. Lovecraft stories of cosmic madness, and actual accounts of hallucinations and supernatural sightings. Clay was voted “ Best Emerging Artist” for 2016 by the New Times of Broward and Palm Beach. In 2015, her short film, Schools, was accepted into Visionaria in Milan, Italy. In 2018, Clay had a solo exhibit at Practice Gallery in Philadelphia.
Personify is funded in part by a Cultural Tourism Program grant from the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau; the Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency; and Visit Florida.