As an on-site painter, place is integral to both my subject and process. I make large, often multiple panel onsite oil painting installations of dense landscapes that overwhelm the viewer’s perceptual senses. Each individual painting is created over the course of a day, as I apply wet paint on top of wet paint in a dense, cumulative manner that underscores the richness of being in a specific location as it changes over time.
Creating the In-Between
Formally the on-site works are about the materiality of the paint and the physicality of the painting process in which the figure and the ground are actively exchanging places, highlighting the interplay between the illusionist possibilities of painting and its true abstract and material nature. But on a more personal level, as an immigrant I have realized that all of the on-site works I’ve made in the US have, at their core, been about trying to negotiate the complex propositions of sense of place and belonging which so influence the construction of personal identity.
My multi-panel installations are composed of individual paintings from the same geographic area but viewed from different perspectives which I then arrange, and rearrange into a new whole. In this selection of works, the panels constituting Fluid Perception: Banyan as Metaphor are shown in different arrangements, emphasizing how the different painted panels work as individual compositions but also as parts of a larger, flexible construction. Cumulative Nature: Tannic Waters is shown as both a stand-alone painting and as part of the triptych Hyphenated Nature: Northern Florida-Cuban Painting Relations (after Carta).
Symbolically, the density and fluidity of each painting enables me to move them around (migrate), creating new “in-between” spaces at the borders. These installations seem both familiar and foreign and visually represent what happens when cultures meet: they mix and meld, creating more complex and vibrant hybrid versions of themselves-inviting us to find new paths through them.