Espinasse31 for Delano Miami
FEBRUARY 26th - APRIL 1st, 2019
MARCH 22nd, 2019
Considered as one of the most vibrant and multifaceted art hubs of the world, Miami is known for its energy and colors which play a major role in the creations of its artists. Picking up on trends from all over America and the Caribbean, Miami encourages the syncretic invention of artistic forms that fit both the cultural heritage of the artist and that of the cultures he has interacted with in the city.
Witness of this dynamic and original artistic exchange, the Milanese artist’s residency and contemporary gallery, Espinasse31 with the exhibition "Espinasse31 for Delano Miami" tells the story of two artists: the established Carlos Luna, a cuban national emigrated to the US, and the emerging Jenny Perez, an american of Cuban and dominican descent.
Influenced by European cubism, Mexican New Realism and Latin American baroque, Carlos Luna first approached art in his childhood, maintaining his roots in all his works. His paintings are true visual narratives that, through colorful images, recall the traditions and styles of his beloved Cuba. The musical memories of his childhood in the campaigns of Sain Luis and Pinar del Rio emerge in his calligraphic painting, redundant with geometric elements and interweaving, typical of medieval jewelry, accompanied by a flourishing of fictitious and playful drawings.
His Cuban identity is evident in fact in his characters, stories, music and the vitality of his collections of the island's past, the rural image of the "guajiro on horseback" and of the "cock kikiriki" are two recurrent themes that paint the whole spectrum of feelings of his family life spent in rural Cuba. The icon of the "Gallo", represented by Carlos as a stainless steel sculpture, embodies the alter ego of the artist and symbolises the personality and reputation of all the Cubans which, with courage and bravery, face themes and problems bigger than themselves.
Cuba has undoubtedly played a role in cultural and economic history which far exceeds its size and geographical position. A destination for great European artists, Cuba has also been the starting point for many internationally renowned painters. After training at the Academia de San Alejandro, the National School of Artes Plasticas and the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Carlos decided to leave for Puebla, in Mexico, where he saw the opportunity to achieve his artistic goals. In his sculptures, "War Giro" and "Floretito" visitors can discern the typical characteristics of Mexican art, which highlights an instinctive, collective and social style.
Observing art as a metaphor, Luna challenges the preconceptions of the audience by providing repeated opportunities to rediscover previously represented symbols on an ever growing number of surfaces and visual effects. Two Jacquard tapestries, on display at the Delano Hotel, "Sometimes" and "Heartbreaker" metaphorically represent a dichotomy between darkness and light sepictive of the tensions and negotiations necessary for the sharing of the kingdoms of Esu and Olodumare, Cuban religious dynasties of the Yoruba. Tapestry is an ideal means to capture these details and create a deep field of interwoven layers, alternating vibrant and dark colors.
Like a new religious visual literacy, Carlo’s tapestries invite the audience to seek a deeper understanding of the divine message and to reflect on the relationship between two important religious archetypes: Olodumare and Esu. These artworks include the main moral paradigms of Yoruba philosophy, emphasizing the fundamental, traditionally binary nature of good and evil. The universal culture of this great artist allows him to refer to a whole past, ranging between cosmogonic and apocalyptic themes, without ever failing to mark the works with a character of originality. The series of the artist’s “Untitled” works on paper is strongly innovative, where images and symbols continue to inform his creative process, enriched by additional influences which are part of his life in Miami.
The other artist on display, Jenny Perez, is a young artist considered as one of the major emerging talents of American street art. Selected by Armani Exchange for the presentation of its #ST_Art for Ax Armani capsule collection presented during the Miami Art Week of 2017, Jenny spontaneously paints her love for art, recognizing in urban art a form of progression of street art: "Painting for me means, to represent what I feel spontaneously, many times in a chaotic and disordered way, but it is precisely this combination of spontaneity and disorder that defines the type of artist I like to be ".
On show at the Delano we find two of her different productions: "Milano Black", with works created during her stay in the Milanese residency of Espinasse31 in the 2016/2017 winter, and "Neither Here Nor There", four newly created works part of a cycle of fifteen works still in production.
The cycle "Milano Black" testifies to the personal experience lived by the artist for five weeks in the Italian metropolis: "these paintings tell a story of a girl - that girl is me. The experiences of a girl who enters her femininity, perceives that change and what follows ". To capture the essence of a winter spent in the Milanese gothic city, Jenny uses a palette of dark and deep colors, contrasting the liveliness of the tropical hues, usually used in her Miami works. In a similar way as Carlos represents his Cuban identity with the symbol of the “Gallo”, Jenny consolidates her ties with Italy with her painting "Finding Love Milan" where the Italian icon "Valentina" of the Crepax comics is represented: I found her story interesting and I wanted to explore my curiosity about her character and her being a witness to a movement that I have always appreciated - a movement oriented towards the empowerment of women and women's sexuality ".
The four acrylics on canvas of the cycle "Neither Here Nor There" are instead an exploration of the human subconscious and investigate the relationship between the human being, matter and time. Inspired by the surrealist artist Salvator Dali, Jenny explores her dreams, exposing the "other spaces" that appear between one space and the other: "These paintings are essentially the reflections of each of us during sleep, a conversation that explores the existing in multiple dimensions at the same time. Salvador Dali said that when we sleep in this world, we are awake in another and that these same spaces, sleep - awakening, life - death, are fundamental to find sources of creativity, surrealism and divinity "