Carlos Estevez - Living Apart Together
Couturier Gallery is pleased to announce the return of Cuban painter and sculptor Carlos Estévez for a solo show. The exhibition of new works, Living Apart Together, includes large paintings and intricate sculptures exploring the human psyche vis-à-vis a complex artificial world with metaphoric imagery and thoughtful witticism. The exhibition runs from September 14 – October 19, 2013, with an artist’s opening reception on Saturday, September 14th, 6-8pm.
Carlos Estévez is from the generation of Cuban artists and intellectuals who, emerging in the 1990s, developed a sense of connectedness to the world outside of Cuba where social, political and geographic boundaries do not exist compared to the restricted freedoms on the island. Free to develop a symbolic language of his own, Estévez uses images from the physical world to convey his thoughts on isolation and solitude. Present are his trademark mechanical figures: hybrids of man and nature, combined with elements of music, marionettes, architecture and telephones. His interest in alchemy and the paradoxical nature of man are evident in this new series illustrating the divergences that derail us from our higher self. He writes:
“The history of human beings is a grand paradox. The development of technologies, the “progress” and evolution is disproportionate to the development of individual thought and spirituality. He goes on to state that, “…the magic of art is in its capacity to communicate from the most remote spaces of the interior world of the artist to the most intricate places in the soul of the spectator.”
The painting “Living Apart Together” speaks to the interconnectedness that we all share, in spite of the lost communication and isolation that “progress” has made in our lives. Known for his marionettes (both as motif and sculpture) Estévez presents a symphonic orchestra of 100 musicians literally embodying their instrument with limbs and heads formally seated around the “conductor” (which here is a moon) and described by Estévez as “an allusion to consciousness and thought around which gravitate the instruments.” Just as in music, such attunement with ourselves, when focused on a universal theme, has the power to convey complex thoughts that resonate with the masses in a sublime way.
Estévez further investigates the study of communication with a series of works featuring rotary dial phones. In the sculpture “Balanced Approach” he combines an elaborate rigging of a metal weight scale with a plated phone base suggesting the value of weighing ones words. “Long Distance Relationships” is a large painting featuring 14 telephones of different styles with human parts representing the modern phenomenon of isolation in a social media and device driven world. He writes of this schism, “My paintings attempt to represent this chaos: the absurdity of life, the lack of communication, the distance between humans.” It is this type of observation that motivates Estévez to delve into his world of symbols and create a visual testimonial to the incongruities of life in a modern age.
Carlos Estévez’s work may be found in numerous museum and public collections including: Museo Nacional Palacio de Bellas Artes, La Habana, Cuba; Bronx Museum, New York, USA; Museum of Fine Art, Boston, MA, USA; Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL, USA; Arizona State University Art Museum, Arizona, USA; Lowe Art Museum, UM, Miami, FL, USA; Drammens Museum for Kunst og Kulturhistorie, Drammens, Norway; The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, FIU, Miami, FL, USA; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA USA; Bacardi Art Foundation, Miami, FL, USA; Fort. Lauderdale Art Museum, Fort. Lauderdale, USA; Association d’Art de La Napoule, France; Acerbo Histórico de la Academia de San Carlos, DF. México; Kunst Forum Ludwig, Aachen, Germany; Colección Casa de las Américas, La Habana, Cuba; Center for Cuban Studies, New York, USA; Fundación Arte Viva, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; OMI Foundation Collection, New York, USA; The Farber Collection, New York.