Cuban artist

Installation

Vignette: Amalia Galdona Broche

“Knotty Mountains Installation” by Amalia Galdona Broche, Fiber, 2019

“Knotty Mountains Installation” by Amalia Galdona Broche, Fiber, 2019

Amalia Galdona Broche describes herself as, “Living in a cultural in-between.” Born in Cuba, she has lived in the United States for the last 10 years. Now 25, her time in America frames the “coming-of-age” period that is often the most formative time in the identity of an artist.

“I am interested in the relationship between nature and nurture and how our surroundings shape character and identity,” she explains. “Through the process of collecting, tearing, breaking, joining, weaving, knotting and assembling, I mimic my journey through life, constantly adapting to the experiences, places and people around me.” 

“TheScream” by Amalia Galdona Broche, Fiber and pins, 40x15x15in, 2018

“TheScream” by Amalia Galdona Broche, Fiber and pins, 40x15x15in, 2018

“I use the cyanotype photo process to capture and present, in an abstracted manner, the way in which our environment imprints onto our identity. Currently, I explore figures through form, material, and surface treatment. The assemblage of woven structures with or created with discarded textiles creates a rich surface texture that is sometimes further altered through photo processes. By referencing the syncretizing of religious and cultural beliefs, as well as Spanish and Afro-Cuban culture in my work, I deal with the intricacies of the building and development of my own character as a product of colonization and appropriation.”

Broche’s use of the word syncretize in her statement is key. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as the ‘Attempt to amalgamate or reconcile (differing things, especially religious beliefs, cultural elements, or schools of thought),’ and the resulting tension in the work is palpable. The forms that are suggestive of human figures are colorful and vital, imbued with life and energy yet also not as open as they might be, their full identity occluded among the layers of material (“The Scream”). The more abstract constructions build atmosphere and context with the same air of muffled expression, curtains capturing a festive quality but also allowing some degree of barricade .

It may not be wrong to see a commentary of the American propensity for cultural approbation at work here, yet Broche’s statement also reinforces her own accountability in this exploration of identity.

“I find this creative process to be a meditative dance of making and building, using art and craft and their history to continue a conversation about otherness, feminism, and the global south.”  

Recent Exhibitions:

2019 Of Problems and Some Other Knots, Locker 666, Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, GA
2018 Nurtured Nature, Glass Gallery, Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
2017 The Art of Structure, Still Point Arts, Virtual Gallery

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Hometown: Santa Clara, Cuba
Education: MFA candidate, University of Kentucky, 2021
BFA, with a concentration in Sculpture, Jacksonville University, 2016; BA, with a concentration in Art History, Jacksonville University, 2016, Departmental Honors in Art, Minor: Business Administration
Website: amaliagaldonabroche.com
Instagram: agaldonab

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“Sisters My Lady of Charity (left) and Our Lady of Regla (right)” by Amalia Galdona Broche, Fiber installation, 58x40x25in / 50x20x20in, 2018

“Sisters My Lady of Charity (left) and Our Lady of Regla (right)” by Amalia Galdona Broche, Fiber installation, 58x40x25in / 50x20x20in, 2018

“Sisters Our Lady of Regla” by Amalia Galdona Broche, Fiber installation, 50x20x20in, 2018

“Sisters Our Lady of Regla” by Amalia Galdona Broche, Fiber installation, 50x20x20in, 2018

“Knots in the Times of Trouble. Amalia Galdona Broche, Fiber and wire, 70x30x30in, 2019

“Knots in the Times of Trouble. Amalia Galdona Broche, Fiber and wire, 70x30x30in, 2019

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Painting

Vignette: Julio Cesar Rodriguez

"Infinity Wings" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez,  Oil on canvas, 18X14in,  2017, POR

"Infinity Wings" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez,  Oil on canvas, 18X14in,  2017, POR

Julio Cesar Rodriguez’ surrealism is pure, in that it derives from an openness bordering on out-of-body experience: “When I'm painting I feel my mind is opened as a theater stage and my staging begins to establish itself with its own lights and shadows, colors and strokes…and then going to bed trying to sleep with that huge dark hat is the night. It is in this process where I feel still perched at that stage - floating in my paintings.”

We also are tempted to describe these most recent paintings as moving more into abstraction. The traditional surrealist’s descriptive precision with objects, time, and space has not been totally abandoned, but the vigorous kinetic swirl of his compositions partially obscure those elements, and our eye focuses on the few instances of representational clarity. The bird’s head from “Infinity Wings”, for example, or the self-portrait from “The Saved Essence of My Soul”, which makes explicit the feeling of theatricality the artist mentions. The figure might be onstage, or he might be painting a scenic design backstage.

It all reinforces the concept of alternate reality that is a keystone of the surrealist aesthetic. But the images are more than that label would allow. Rodriguez describes his work as, “a mixture of figuration and expressionism with an air of surrealism.” So we also witness his abstraction regroup into suggestions of the representational, as in “Muse Face”.

"The Saved Essence of My Soul" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez,  Oil on canvas, 48X36in,  2018, POR

"The Saved Essence of My Soul" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez,  Oil on canvas, 48X36in,  2018, POR

“When I am creating I feel locked up in a cage with clouds. They help me hold on to the tightrope of real life and it is then that I feel the exact balance with the doors of my intellect. My love for painting holds me, makes me play attached to a brush, and it is the only time where the magicians’ savor their perfect trick.”

Rodriguez’ new solo exhibition Divine Shadows, opens on April 7th in the Revelry Boutique Gallery, with a reception that evening 7:00 to 10:00 pm, and will continue through the month of April.

Hometown: Holguin, Cuba
Education: BFA, Fine Art Academy, Holguin, Cuba
Gallery Representation: Revelry Boutique Gallery
Website: www.juliocesart.com

 

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"Muse Face" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez,  Oil on canvas, 15X15in,  2018, POR

"Muse Face" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez,  Oil on canvas, 15X15in,  2018, POR

"Spring Call" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez,  Oil on canvas, 16X20in,  2017, POR

"Spring Call" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez,  Oil on canvas, 16X20in,  2017, POR

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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.