MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)Prior to 2012
I was born in Cuba and migrated to the US at a very young age. I started taking painting lessons at the age of 10 from a classically trained Cuban artiat. When I was an undergraduate I begain to reject my training, I saw it as old fashion and not relevant to what was happening in the art world. I even started to paint on the backs of my canvases or even breaking up the strestcher bars and binding them with the canvas and then applying paint.
When I moved to Baltimore to attend graduate school at MICA I felt out of place and i found confort in my Cuban culture, especially my link to Afro-Cuban spirituality. I started to create work based on Santeria and Yorba shrines. This work continued long after I graduate, My work became larger and more ambitious turning into installations. After years of creating these works I didn't feel all that spiritual any more and I no long had that connection to the work.
I started teaching painting at the time and as I saw my students paint it made me want to go back to straight painting. I knew the my interest in painting was wide, I love abstraction, Baroque painting, Surrealism, landscapes and patterns. Art to me is about freedom and I wan to feel that I can do whatever I want to do whenever I want. The ideas that I'm working with in my painting are a mixture of African fetish objects and Baroque painting.