This exhibition was not intended to be comprehensive, rather a swirling net drug across the sub-tropical landscape of the hottest region in contemporary art. AR Contemporary's stable artist A.A. Rucci, acting as curator, has selected 7 of his peninsular contemporaries who stretch the boundaries of painting and the publics perception of Florida art. Without regard to stylistic nor thematic similarities, or even any regional taste, Rucci has brought together Leslie Lerner (Sarasota), Maria Malo-Molina (Daytona Beach, Nicole Mauser (Sarasota), Beatriz Monteavaro (Miami Beach), Gean Moreno (Miami), Odili Donald Odita (Tallahassee) and Gavin Perry (Miami Beach).
Recently, in the swamps of the Florida Everglades a 20 foot wild python chose to make prey of a young adult alligator. Although the python managed to swallow the alligator whole, the native alligator fought back and burst out the side of the alien snake. Both creatures perished in an epic battle suitable for Saturday afternoon cinema.
Patterns of migration, assimilation and evolutionary change are evident in the wilds of the Everglades. But Disney and Basel/Miami Beach have replaced the reptilian stench and black waters with masks of sweet nectar, domesticated multi-coloured parrots, bulbous boobs and customized cars.
There are no tar pits in Florida. No past, only the shifting currents and the Undertoad. Everything is devoured and excreted. Sweat. Money. Music. Flesh. Power. Deceit. Politics. Leeches. Death. Stench. Paintings. A new evolutionary state arises. Catch the wave, walk the body, and look before the next one hits you. Hard.
I was born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba on June 30, 1984.
In search of freedom, my family and I fled the island for Spain when I was seven years old. Two years later we finally were able to make another important journey; this time to a place known as the “Land of the Free.”
But, we never truly settled down in America. I went through five schools and five residences in a matter of seven years. As a result of the constant relocations, except for a brief experience as an exchange student in Osaka, Japan, exposure to contemporary art was minimal.
I attended Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, earning my BFA in Painting (2006). While still a student, I attended the New School studio program in New York City. And I spent a summer in Tuscany, Italy, at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, furthering my understanding of the tradition of painting. I currently live and work in Daytona Beach, FL.
Born in 1983, Indianapolis, IN. Lives and works in Kansas City, MO. Previous to attending college, I grew up in the same house on the eastside of Indianapolis known as Historic Irvington. My father’s parents live in the country and there were frequent trips between city and their rural defunct farm. The characteristic Indiana landscape complete with red barns, cows and corn, always in momentum from a car window, left a deep impression. Indianapolis’ annual 500 race is a cultural event to say the least, that I was raised on.
Attending Catholic grade school and Catholic high school instilled in me a sense of building creativity and identity within imposed constraints. Attempting nearly every organized activity for children (tennis, kickball, volleyball, softball, basketball, ballet, tap, jazz, choir, piano lessons, art classes, summer camp and girl scouts) left me knowing it was art that I was only equipped to seriously pursue. I continue to keep my interests and art practices in several genres.
Born in 1971. Havana, Cuba. Lives and works in Miami, FL. Beatriz Monteavaro is a Cuban born artist whose work is influenced by British new wave music, science fiction, horror movies, and Disney World. Her most recent work details the exploits of 80’s rock stars Adam Ant and Gary Numan who were turned into Planet of the Apes guys after they went on a quest to retrieve black eyeliner from the evil Siouxsie Sioux. Since then they secured passage onto Pablo Picasso’s spaceship and were nearly destroyed. Now the three find themselves in Paris.
Monteavaro has a BFA from Tyler School of Art of Temple University. Her work has been internationally exhibited at such places as the Armory Show in New York, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris, France, Art Basel Miami Beach, Annina Nosei Gallery in New York, Tent in Rotterdam, Holland, Galerie Edward Mitterrand in Geneva, Switzerland, Fredric Snitzer Gallery in Miami, FL, NFA Space in Chicago, IL, and The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. She recently had a solo exhibition at The Gulf Coast Museum of Art in Largo, FL. She has been reviewed and featured in ArtUS and Art Papers. Monteavaro lives and works in Miami.
He was in Born 1972. Lives and works in Miami. In 1997, the artist obtained a B.A. in Florida International University. Gean Moreno presents a visually complex and stimulating collage in which psychedelic imagery, illustrations with an urban bent and stamped textiles were harmoniously combined with Celtic design, Op-Art, album covers, graffiti, images of skulls and deserts, and stickers for surfboards and skateboards. Resorting to his sharp sense of composition and color, Moreno creates topographies of the mind and the imperceptible, urban utopias, and X-rays of a subculture, of a globalized and mediatized world, of that little traveled space in which the futuristic and the primitive coexist.
His is a formal concern, and his inspiration and work tools are found in the domestic milieu, among heaps of colored paper, beer labels and magazine clips. The artist takes advantage of the detritus of mass culture; he recycles and appropriates them to configure an accessible plastic language, devoid of any false pretensions. In a hanging sculpture and a quilt-like installation, Moreno takes his collages to the three-dimensional domain.
Born in 1971 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Lives and works in Miami, Florida.
Since the early 90s, Perry has exlored the possibilities and implications of using industrial materials and techniques in his art. The material, technique and compositions challenge what is art today, the role consumption for its own sake in the art world as well as in the world of hot, cars and name-brand labels.