A Journey through personal time and space is what every artist has during our life experience. Art as a mode of nonverbal communication weaves our place in this transitory condition of existence. We are surrounded by other humans who may or may not be object creators, some telling us what it means or is required to be an artist of our singular and unique time. But that journey is really our own to define and not merely stand quietly and absorb someone else’s agenda of what art should be. This is our evolution, this is our researching all of the infinite possibilities that art can be and choosing what we need it to be.
My father was born in Cuba descending from Spaniard cattle ranchers in Northern Spain. His ancestors are the settlers of Ireland and Scotland. My mother was born in Puerto Rico from multi ethnic indigenous parents that were mixed with European. I was born in the United States.
I am cognizant that my mothers heritage gives me a Caribbean lineage which is genetically the same as the north and South American Indians, a lineage which is the true occupants of this American continent, rather than the European settlers. However, since history was written from the viewpoint of the invading European culture, much has been forgotten and never acknowledged. Instead, current society acts as if the real natives are the Europeans, and they call others ‘aliens’. As a child I was unaware of the truth that was distorted in Eurocentric history books, but as an educated adult, I started piecing things together and my knowledge increased. I became aware of the genocide of the indigenous culture that occurred during the takeover of this continent by the Europeans search for wealth. As an artist, I created a series of paintings which I called ‘Americana Hispana’. This is intertwined with a series which I call ‘Making Roots’. The irony is that I and many others that our society has labeled as ‘aliens’ have to struggle to reclaim the heritage that is ours from birth, for we are the true original natural inhabitants of the American continent.
This longstanding series, beginning with ‘Americana Hispana‘ and morphing simultaneously over time with ‘Making Roots – UpRooted’ is as an expression that artists of my mixed ethnicity are entitled to perform and cannibalize the classical. We should not be forced to merely create what is stereotypically imposed upon us. Becoming as much the rightful owners of the classical genre as the European culture that destroyed our past. I paint classically as a performative gesture to be part of the ‘lineage’ rather than merely emulating a style. Differences in style are a significant factor in all the work that I create, for I in reality have always straddled more than one culture. The works have pieces of my own life story metaphorically inserted as personal objects of meaning. It is almost as if my own body were living through all of art history in order to make it relevant and understandable to me rather than merely scholarly art history knowledge. My personal and private ‘performance’ as the ‘actual experience is the work of art’ thus is an intangible part of the work. It is each individual artist that defines what art of our time should be.
A link to the solo exhibition Between Presence and Absence (Making Roots) at the Carrack Modern Art in Durham NC.
A link to a small solo exhibition I had of Making Roots in 2020 Raleigh NC CMAC Gallery
Further down this webpage I have added all my tree series works inspired by Making Roots, my love for trees as a living entity, as well as the myriad meanings that trees represent in human existence.
For more information refer to ABOUT and Ideas on Art
Trees are a wonderful living entity that are part of the living ecological system in our planet. They are connected to each other as well as to all living things. They are majestic and graceful or can still be alive though gnarled and misshapen by the elements. Their root systems are usually hidden, yet are massively huge and important to their existence as a single entity and as an interconnected community. They have inspired and served living things, including humans for as long as we have existed, yet have existed millions of years before humans. My ‘NeuroMorphic Trees’ are not on this page as they are part of my NeuroMorphic Universe conceptual series. However, the trees on this page are also emblematic of many of the metaphorical meanings that are present in my micro/macro neuromorphic series.