Concept & Design: Barry Laughlin
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Gonzalo Fuenmayor was born in Barranquilla, Colombia in 1977. He received an MFA from School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA in 2004, and a BFA in Fine Arts and Art Education from School of Visual Arts in 2000, where he was awarded a full tuition scholarship from the Keith Haring Foundation. He has been awarded numerous awards including a 2015 South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual and Media Artists, Traveling Fellowship by the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2014, first prize at the 6th Bidimensional Salon at Gilberto Alzate Avendaño Foundation in Bogotá, Colombia, 2013, and a Silas Rhodes Family Award in 2000. Fuenmayor has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in USA, Latin America and Europe; his work was recently showcased in a solo exhibition “Tropical Mythologies” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2015, at the "Caribbean Crossroads" Exhibition at the Queens Museum, NY, "Florida Contemporary 2011" at the Naples Museum, among others. Among his projects for 2015-2016, is a solo exhibition at El Museo Gallery in Bogota and his second Solo Show at Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco, CA. He currently lives and works in Miami, FL and is represented by Dot Fiftyone Gallery, Miami and Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco.
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Statement / Papare Series
As a Colombian artist living in the United States for over a decade, I once felt the responsibility to make art that commented on the social events happening back at home. Feeling detached from the tacit burden to address drugs and violence, I started drawing bananas instead. What initially began as a lighthearted attempt to self-exoticize and position myself as specifically “Colombian” -coming from a so-called “Banana Republic”- evolved into an exploration of cultural hybridity and transnational identity. A certain dislocation, or absurdity is always present in the work where 18th century decorative paraphernalia subsists organically in tropical settings. The mystical engagement of disparate elements, metaphorically untangles the dynamics of belonging as a foreigner -both at home and abroad.
The recent body of work examines ideas of exoticism and the complicit and amnesic relationship between ornamentation and tragedy. Opulent Victorian chandeliers and other elements, reminescent of a decadent colonial past, proliferate from banana bunches, alluding to a tragic and violent history associated with Banana trade worldwide. I am interested in how ornamentation with its grace and excess has the capacity to camouflage and overshadow questionable circumstances of all kind.
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© 2015 Barry Laughlin - Design