Tamayo-Southernmost Hemingway

Cuban Artist Tamayo’s ‘Plankton Paintings’

Reception and Gallery Talk: Mon July 13, 6pm

Exhibition on view through July 24, M-F 10am-4pm

For the next month, the celebrated Cuban artist Tamayo is residing in Key West, courtesy of The Studios of Key West.

Like many Cuban artists, Tamayo has an encyclopedic knowledge of art history, and aims simultaneously for the brain, the gut and the funny bone. His crisp paintings blend surrealism, pop art and pop culture, with appearances by comic book heroes, obscure baseball players, and 1950’s gangsters.

The paintings on view at The Studios are Tamayo’s most recent, from a series called Alma del Mar/Soul of the Sea, in which plankton and other microscopic sea creatures have consumed the detritus of contemporary society. Their innards revealed as if by x-ray, some show semi-plausible items like key rings, coins and cellphones in their innards; most are more fantastical, having merged with a handgun, or mutated to resemble the monster from Alien. The result is a powerful but darkly funny statement about the unknown effects of all that we throw into the environment, down to the most basic building blocks of life.

tamayo

This is Tamayo’s second visit to Key West. In February 2014, he was part of One Race/Una Raza, the groundbreaking Cuban cultural exchange spearheaded by The Studios and Gallery on Greene, with an exhibition at the Gato building hosted by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts. In April 2016, he will be back again, with a feature exhibition in The Studios’ Main Gallery.

The Studios of Key West