Fernando Botero (Columbian, b.1932) is celebrated for his painted and sculpted scenes featuring animals and figures with inflated proportions, reflecting the artist’s predilection for satire, caricature, and political commentary in his work. Born in Medellin, Botero began exhibiting his paintings there in 1948, and later worked as a set designer in Botoga. In the 1950s he traveled to several different European countries, including Spain, Italy, and France, to study the work of Renaissance and Baroque masters. He also traveled to Mexico to familiarize himself with the current Mexican avant-garde. Botero became renowned for the varied source material he drew upon, from Columbian folk imagery to canonical works by Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez, Pablo Picasso, and Francisco de Goya. In his depictions of contemporary Latin American life, he portrays the poverty and violence prevalent in Columbia in somber images, as well as in his iconic portraits of inflated figures, typically satiric portrayals of Latin American presidents, first ladies, and government officials. A meeting with Dorothy Miller from the Museum of Modern Art in the early 1960s proved to be a turning point in his career; she acquired his work at a time when abstraction was the celebrated idiom, and he later exhibited his work in a major exhibition at the museum, solidifying his international reputation. In the 1970s Botero moved to Paris, where he created large figural sculptures with his signature inflated forms. He remains engaged with images of his Latin American home city, and with overtly political imagery; his recent works include large paintings of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in a direct commentary on the war in Iraq. Botero has exhibited his work at the Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen, the Maillol Museum in Paris, the Palazzo Benezia in Rome, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the National Museum in Botoga. He currently lives and works in Paris, Montecarlo, and New York.
Ismael Gomez Peralta was born in 1967 in Batabano, Cuba. He is a graduate of San Alejandro Academy in Havana. He has served as an art instructor at La Casa de la Cultura in Batabano, as a professor of drawing at the Instituto Superior de Pedagogia Enrique Jose Varona, and as a professor of drawing at San Alejandro. His personal exhibitions in Cuba include Una Cuidad y Otra at the Raul Martinez Gallery, Havana, and La Cuidad del Silencio at the Charles Chaplin Cinema Gallery, Havana. Ismael has participated in fine art fairs in the U.S. including Art Chicago, Art Miami, and ArteAmericas. His art has also been auctioned at Christies and Sotheby’s. His most recent shows include Requiem for Havana and Una Isla, Dos Versiones, at the Miami Dade College Kendall Campus gallery. The artist resides in Miami, Florida.
Over the last decade, Nina Surel has developed a unique series of mixed media portrait- landscapes that offers a witty, provocative and honest portrayal of the modern woman. The works on view depict women deep in the canopies of the forest who execute their unconscious fantasies and repressed desires away from their socially constructed environments. Surel investigates these emotions through viscerally sensual images. These images are scenes that can only happen deep in the understory of the most primeval of forests, and have their genesis even further below, where the oldest roots of these trees exist.
Nina Surel employs a wide range of media, such as photographs, lace, buttons, porcelain, jewelry and resin on wood. Through her multifaceted process, she has created a number of innovative works that explore her interest in her own childhood, fairytales, Romanticism, and early feminist literature.
Nina Surel was born and raised in Buenos Aires Argentina, and has lived and worked in Miami since 2001. She studied Fashion and Textile Design at the Architecture & Urban Planning University of Buenos Aires, and Costume and Set Design at The Art Institute Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her work has been exhibited widely in institutions, and galleries both in the United States and South America, including the Naples Museum of Art (Naples, Florida), the Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, Calif.), and The Art & Cultural Center of Hollywood. She has participated in Art Fairs in Buenos Aires, Chicago, New York, Miami, and London. She has been featured in national and international magazines and, currently, is an Artist-in-Residence at the South Florida Art Center.