The exhibition Cu4tro Caminos features the work of Cuban and Cuban American artists Carlos Luna, Alvaro Labañino, Jefreid Lotti, and myself.
Carlos Luna’s canvases are populated by an ensemble of characters which embody Cuban folklore. Often recurrent are his depictions of the Guajiro or country man, the rooster, a symbol of national identity and pride, and the country woman, a recurring source of inspiration for visual lyricists through time. Imbued along with intricately woven paint strokes are Luna’s use of humor, wittiness and innuendo, essential components of the Cuban character. Ever so uniquely, the artist strives to immortalize personal stories and oral tradition, encoded in a universe of color and minute marks.
Carlos Luna, "Mira ahora si estoy bien protegido", gouache and charcoal on amate paper, 47 x 48 1/2", 1997.
Alvaro Labañino invites the audience into his intimate world. His canvases offer an insight into his living quarters which include his studio and his bedroom. Also depicted are other sanctuaries where the artist finds peace, contemplation, and solitude. These pictorial windows open up to the interior space of a complex mind, often tormented by a plethora of emotions which are released and concealed by abstraction. Buried deep within multiple glazed screens of color lies Labañino´s heart.
Alvaro Labañino, "I The Traveler", oil on linen, 62 x 36", 2015.
According to Jefreid Lotti, his body of work, which he called “Lluvia” (Spanish for rain), is comprised of portraits that reveal the hand of the artist but not the identity of the sitter, rejecting our generation’s obsession with the selfie culture. These works where executed in many layers over time, using various drawing and painting materials, including collage, charcoal, acrylic and oils. The resulting surface is hard to read with the camera lens, through which we are so accustomed to see the world nowadays. The nature of the work instead requires to be read in person, up close and slowly, the opposite of what most viewers expect from today's art.
Jefreid Lotti, "Lluvia 11", oil and collage on handmade paper, 12 x 9", 2016.
The nature of my own work is similarly reactionary to our absorption with the social media and digital life. I have chosen to paint from observation, depicting my experiences of surfaces and spaces I often encounter. Assisted by the sensuousness and expressive character of oil paint, I translate into canvas tactile and visual sensations that render the most ordinary commonplace sights into meaningful works of art. I am determined to work from experience, continuing the tradition of plein aire painting into today’s day, where we seem to be continually losing touch with the world we inhabit. I want my work to re-sensitize the audience to the physical world, so populated with beauty and metaphor.
Miguel Saludes, "Concrete Wall", oil on canvas, 41.5 x 132", 2016.
In Cu4tro Caminos, four artists, four paths, converge in celebration of Cuban descent, a nation where painting has reigned since its inception. We also have come together to exalt our individuality and our commitment to leave a relevant imprint as contemporary artists constantly relating to this world. The exhibition is organized by Miami Dade College in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed throughout the month of October.