The Hispafest Emerging Art Show: Abstractions

Within the scope of cultural activities carried out by the Hispafest Hispanic American Art and Culture Festival visuals arts has the ambition to have a strong presence in order to recall the strong Hispanic-American artistic tradition and reinforce the cultural ties among its citizens.

It is precisely in this context that the first Hispafest Emerging Art Show has been conceived with the explicit goal of providing exhibition opportunities for emerging Hispanic-American artists. Since the 2000s, Miami has become an important cultural hub with a great many talented Hispanic-American artists. From the first call of the Hispafest Emerging Art Show a selection has been made revolving around the “possible ways to abstraction”, as Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler would have stated.

Loosely grouped around the dialogue of figuration with abstraction, the shortlisted photographic and pictorial proposals by Nathalia Delgado Nachtigall, Carla Ruiz, Alex Pineco, LetiCapriles, and Iván Mikolji convey a series of varied and multilayered perspectives.

Sometimes while departing from clear figurative compositions, the idea of abstraction is merely hinted through the dialogue of form and color, as is the case with the photos of seascapes of Leti Capriles and Nathalia Delgado Nachtigall. While Caprilesoffers colorful underwater compositions of flora and fauna where the projection of daylight plays a decisive role suggesting here and there some abstract forms or gestures, Delgado Nachtigall showcases mesmerizing zenithal views of seascapes that in some cases end up becoming quasi-abstract compositions.

In the case of the pictorial propositions of Carla Ruiz and Iván Mikolji, while referring to concrete elements like the sun and the piranha fish, the spectator gets confronted with a set of compositions that are clearly pushing the boundary to abstraction. In her series, Sunset Carla Ruiz aspires to capture those fleeting moments when the sunset reaches its vanishing point conveying atmospheric and emotional compositions that experiment freely with different color variations. In his turn, Iván Mikolji is equally interested in nature and particularly in the fierce piranha fish which he portrays menacing through strong gestural and chromatic compositions that remind us some of the premises of the “surrealist abstracts” and their predilection for the unexpected, the dark and disturbing.

Alejandro Pineco bends abstraction even more so and resorts equally to nature but privileging microscopic elements like cells that are invisible to the naked eye. In these “scientific compositions,” the gesture is minimal(istic) and color exploration—that feeds from Mondrian, Pollock and Miro—ends up conforming a kind of sui generis techno-aesthetic landscape.

The first Hispafest Emerging Art Show: Abstractions reunites a series of Hispanic-American artists based in Miami whose works reflect on elements like abstraction, nature, color and atmosphere.

​​​​​​Paco Barragán