5 Emerging Artists Redefining American Art
Inside American Art: 5 Rising artists inspiring global market demand.
“The West is the best,” Jim Morrison splendidly said of the Great American landscape, and frankly, with its 16,428,000 sq mi of endless skyway, absolutely nothing compares. In addition to the continental divide, what is it precisely that separates American art from what is frequently referred to with the retronym, the ‘old world’? We would venture to say that American art has a sense of immensity and extension. This translates, in contemporary art, to a boundless sense of possibility. Today, a new generation of contemporary artists is rethinking what we might call American art. As a matter of fact, we present five emerging artists with a consummate devotion to the act of making and redefining labels with a sense of freedom and possibility.
Lives and Works in Medellin, Colombia
Contemporary artist Esteban Gutiérrez utilizes distortion and data loss as a metaphor in his artwork to explore our contemporary visual landscape and cultural notions of truth and originality. In his work, Esteban shows how digital distortion and data loss affect our perception of events, history, and self-image. His impressive large-scale images are video images transferred to a photograph. Esteban’s colorful landscapes are individual video frames converted into high-resolution photographs that contain information from multiple frames and different temporal instants. The result is a transcendent video image that struggles to advance and thus maintains the static nature of photography, as a unique expression of American Art.
Lives and Works in Mexico City.
Equally important in American Art, are some ensuing questions: why is the image used ubiquitously in contemporary society, and how is it that the image can have such emotional immediacy? Contemporary artist Alejandro Meza explores the power of images and how they interact with our psyche to create feelings of nostalgia. In his work, he manipulates the image and forces the viewer to re-interpret the faces and bodies of mass-media images. His work also delves into the mysterious power of the image and its ability to evoke memories and nostalgia.
P. Mudafort's paintings are a meditation on matter and color, a recurrent theme in American Art. Her large-scale paintings highlight the sensuality of material and the abstract sentimentality of color. Furthermore, in her remarkable vapor-wave series Silicon Valley, color and texture emanate a feeling of wild immediacy.
“In my series Silicon Valley, I often begin my paintings with a sensation of color, often inspired by memories of expansive natural phenomena or aesthetics from the history of art, such as the landscape genre. Then, I interrupt this vision of pure sentimental color with a gesture of voluminous substance (oil paint impasto). That, to create new, dynamic panoramas of color experience that are plenty of nostalgic power and inspired in the greatest phenomena; the frontier of perception: the horizon.’’ - P. Mudafort
In essence, Mudafort’s paintings oscillate around a premise of substance and color. The juxtaposition of expansive color fields and thick textural gesture give her paintings a character of natural phenomena.
Cuban-born artist living and working in Colombia
Contemporary artist Wilber Ortega paints exceptional figurative dreamscapes that he refers to as “another kind of truth that arises from a deep conscious need to liberate our perception and cleave visual barriers.” His contemporary paintings often address our current ecological context: human interaction and irrational devastation of nature. In his large-scale surreal landscape paintings, Wilber Ortega adeptly employs a blooming, fluorescent palette to animate his hodgepodge iconography that permits the spectator to enter the nature of another reality.
Lives and Works in Mérida, Mexico.
To conclude, we present artist Gabriel Niquete influencing contemporary American Art. In his current series of sculptures, he represents the Yucatecan trees that provide shade and freshness in this southern peninsula's suffocating heat. Notably, his inspiration comes from the city of Merida, which is full of trees and is surrounded by nature. It is also a city of interiors: balconies, patios, and hidden gardens.
His twisted shapes and squeezed volumes are a constant in his sculptural work. “These twisted forms are a metaphor for the entrails of living beings,” says Niquete. His organic forms represent both people and nature, expressing movement and vitality. “All my sculptures are characters that live in their fictional ecosystems, that is, in his universe of sculptures. Consequently, each series is a world, and each figure is a living being.”
By Perdomo Gallery’s editorial team