It all started when...
Conde Contemporary, the gallery in Miami known for its technically driven, representational and often figurative work, with a focus on contemporary Cuban art, has today announced its participation in the LA Art Show 2017, booth 339.
"This is the first time we exhibit in LA, and consider it a major opportunity to expose our artists to one of the most important art markets in the world", said gallery owner and director, Stacy Conde.
Conde Contemporary plans to show works by : Anthony Ardavin (Santiago de Cuba), Andres Conde (La Habana), Natasha Kertes (Klin, Russia), Darian Rodriguez Mederos (Santa Clara), Luis Rodriguez NOA (Baracoa), Luis Enrique Toledo del Rio (Santa Clara), Enrique Toledo (Santa Clara), and Ruben Torres Llorca (La Habana).
"Seven Cuban artists and a Russian photographer...", smiles Conde, "...it seems an odd match, but historically speaking, it's entirely apropos."
The Party at 10:30 by Andres Conde
The gallery embraces works created in a range of styles from the hyper realistic portraiture of Mederos, the surreal magical worlds captured by Toledo del Rio, to the period specific figurative expressionism of Andres Conde's work.
"Our artists each bring a different point of reference as it relates to being Cuban and their work, which is largely based on age, location and the socio political realities at work in Cuba during their lifetimes."
NOA, who lives and works in Centro Habana, focuses on the chaos of every day life in Havana. He says, "It's easy to be a surrealist in Cuba. You just go outside with paper and a pencil and draw what you see."
27 year old Luis Enrique Toledo del Rio, born during Cuba's "Special Period", is strongly influenced by his father, master painter Enrique Toledo whose work resides in the permanent collection of the Vatican, his grandmother the award winning Cuban poet, and his mother, an actress in children's theatre.
Ruben Torres Llorca, "Volumen Uno" member, whose work resides in the permanent collection of no fewer than seven museums worldwide including: Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, La Habana, Cuba, Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico, DF, Ludwig Forum Fur Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany, The PAMM, Miami, FL, and Museo del Barrio, NY, NY.
“My fundamental influences are coming from film and literature. The only reason I choose to be a visual artist is the independence that it carries. Of the art forms, it is the one least in need of an outside producer, and I have a pathological inclination for naughtiness. Through the years I haven’t cared what type of classification my art is subject to, whether it’s considered art, post-art, literature, or a simple commentary. I do not care what type of resources it uses, the provenance, or how bastardized it could be if I can use it. The essence for me is to establish a public dialogue.” - Ruben Torres Llorca
Despues de El Ocaso by Luis Enrique Toledo del Rio
"We revel in breaking stereotypes", Stacy Conde explains. "Our artists create work that defies cookie cutter examples of what many perceive "Cuban art" to be. Think of the broad array of styles encompassed by the term 'American art'. Is it fair to assume all American art should be some extrapolation of Pollock? Of course not. Nor is it just to assume Cuban art must in some way reference Lam, for example."
Work in Progress / Darian Rodriguez Mederos
Darian Rodriguez Mederos left the smaller city of Santa Clara and moved to Havana in order to attend the renowned, La Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro. After graduation, and with a desire to explore the world at large, Mederos emigrated to Miami, alone, at 22. Where he realized the dream of meeting one of his greatest influences, Chuck Close.
Andres Conde, the son of a Havana playboy turned political prisoner, left Cuba after the elder Conde was released from seven years hard labor, having sustained critical injuries. No longer of value to the state, he was sent home to die. He did not. The family acquired visas to Spain, and eventually made their way to New York, then Miami. Andres Conde's work portrays a nostalgic look at what Cuba once was, with the hope of what it could be again.
Natasha Kertes, born in Klin, Russia, home of Tchaikovsky. Immersed in the classical arts, her photography, though thoroughly modern, reflects a sensual beauty, elegance and opulence of a time past.
The LA Art Show, www.laartshow.com, runs from January 11th through the 15th and takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with the Opening Night Premiere Party, on January 11th from 7-11pm, benefitting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Conde Contemporary will exhibit in booth 339.