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Carlos Luna, A Master in Our Midst
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Carlos Luna, A Master in Our Midst

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Luna/Picasso Exhibit at Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale

There are die-hard art lovers, and then there’s the rest of us. Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale’s 2008-2009 Artist in Residence Carlos Luna is the man for both.

How many times do we all feel a spark of curiosity when we glimpse the banners on the wall at Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale? What is that all about? Who’s Carlos Luna? I’ve never heard of him, but I’d better get home or to happy hour before those full price drinks kick in. I guess I’ll never know.

Not so fast!

The Carlos Luna exhibit at Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale is well worth seeing; it’s a feast for art lovers who obsess over every detail of themes, materials and technique and a fiesta for newbies to the art world who want to deepen their familiarity with Picasso’s work and introduce themselves to a newly-celebrated South Florida artist whose large-scale paintings are colorful, humorous, political and profound.

Intown visited the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale recently to speak with Carlos Luna about the themes and details of his work, the pairing of his paintings with Picasso’s editioned ceramics for this exhibit, and his life as an artist and exiled Cuban in South Florida.

The exhibit begins with 50 (of the Museum of Art’s 65) editioned Picasso ceramics, donated by Miami hotelier Bernie Bercuson in the early ‘90s, which were made at the Madoura Pottery in Vallauris, France. At that location, the Spanish master made the originals of each, and commissioned artists to create editioned ceramics – each of which is signed or stamped – in order to share his art on a larger scale and at a lower cost than he could with his originals. As you stroll past these ceramics, you will see pitchers, serving plates, plaques, vases and other items made in the likeness of Picasso’s originals.

Carlos Luna walked Intown’s Courtney Hambright through his exhibit to discuss the work in depth. Roberto Santiago, MOAFL Director of Communications and Marketing, not to mention an eloquent bilingual gentleman, translated.

The various images in Luna’s paintings – the beautiful woman, the guajiro (Cuban country peasant), the Eleggua (a Yoruban god), the alligator, the bull and the rooster – work together to create stories about life in Cuba and what it feels like to be in exile, the sometimes strained and often humorous relationships between men and women and Luna’s journey as a man and an artist.

During Intown’s visit with Luna, the pieces that we discussed in depth were “El Gran Mambo” (his 6-panel masterwork, an autobiographical piece that traces his journey from a young aspiring artist in Cuba to an accomplished and celebrated artist living in Miami), “Se Te Acabo El Mamey Cabron” or “Time Is Up, You Bastard”( a gouache and charcoal picture on amate that depicts a skeletal figure straining under the weight of pulling Castro toward his final curtain) and “Las Flores Del Regreso”, a stunning image of a woman lying on top of an alligator over swirling waters that represents Luna’s fantasy of returning to his homeland, which he left in 1991, at the age of 21.

The Carlos Luna/Pablo Picasso exhibit will run through February 23 at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. Admission to the museum is $10 for adults, which grants access to this exhibit and the Museum’s Coming of Age exhibit, which traces the developments in American painting from the 1850s to the 1950s—a Georgia O’Keefe and a Jackson Pollock are currently on display.

Link to Carlos Luna blog: http://dev.intown411.com/community/blogs/entry/Interview-with-Carlos-Luna-Artist-in-Residence-at-Museum-of-Art-Fort-Lauderdale

 

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