Untitled, 2019, from the series "Krome Avenue." Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches
Untitled, from the series "Krome Avenue," 2019
We all use language with which we can tell our own stories. Some stories are better said in words, while others best convey their message visually. In the case of Andres Cabrera-Garcia, the medium of paint offers the artist the physicality to freely wrestle – or dance – with his inner reality forged onto the format of choice.
Cabrera-Garcia is a painter of feelings. His craft comes from years of experiential learning in a formal setting and on his own. The years he spent learning in Cuba, working at "en plein air," were part of a self-imposed, autodidactic training. However, the "contemporary" scene of the time, the zeitgeist of art school, did not fully allow Cabrera-Garcia to explore landscape as a genre. However, he diligently used this time to learn the different techniques within the discipline of art, the medium of painting, and specifically, to add to his skills repertoire the creation of monotypes, which allowed the expressive nature of his drawing to flourish. His learning paved the path for the skillful observer and interpreter of color and light he has become today.
As Arnheim1 once posed, the entropic nature of art offers an intimate view of an artist's gaze. Among the efforts to add the necessary nuances to relate oneself to a painter's story is the appreciative fact that a painter chooses materials and images as carefully as an author can select words or any literary resource. Subtleness in a plane of color, the boldness of a rough brush stroke, and other tricks pulled under the metaphorical sleeve of years of trial and error and experimenting in the studio bring a harmonious and "exceptionally told" story. This story conveys its multi-meaning message with a few articulate strokes and marks. Such is the case of Cabrera-Garcia's report told through the series Krome Avenue. In it, Cabrera-Garcia's observations elevate landscapes to an emotional, interpretive level. He reinvents the landscapes he has at hand, the ones he observes while taking a typical drive to commute to either a workplace or to pick up his son on weekends. The repetitive nature of this activity reflects the painstakingly exact depiction of light and color present in his work.
These journeys driving through the namesake road, Krome Avenue, served as a recording device for Cabrera-Garcia. He did not take notes, photos, or sketches. He memorized how the landscape was changing and rapidly synthesized this information into an amalgam of elements and colors with which he readily composed a plot for us viewers. The paintings are, by turn, challenging and sublime due to their emotionally charged message about the loss of our natural environment.
To learn more about Andres Cabrera-Garcia's work, visit his website
Andres Cabrera-Garcia: Krome Avenue was on view at Coral Gables Museum from June 7 to September 4, 2019. To learn more about the exhibit, visit the museum's page, here
Dr. Liliam Dominguez
1- Arnheim, R. (1974). Entropy and art: An essay on disorder and order. Univ of California Press.