BOSTON, MA – Cubaneo is a new record-breaking traveling exhibition of photo-mosaic murals, interviews, and field recordings by Northampton, Massachusetts-based artist Mark Guglielmo. Curated by David Guerra, it runs from October 6—27, 2017 at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, 85 W Newton St, Boston, MA with an opening reception on Friday, October 6 from 6:30-10pm (Art Walk). There will be an artist & curator talk on Thursday, October 19 at 6:30PM and a closing reception on Friday, October 27 from 6-8pm, all in the gallery, free and open to the public.
Guglielmo’s images are a record of the ethnic and cultural heterogeneity that characterizes the Cuban people by going beyond what is commonly defined today as Cuban. Cubaneo is the term used in Cuba to refer not to the Cuban identity but to the ways that identity is expressed. Cubaneo then includes all the idiosyncrasies of Cubans including its reflection in Cubans’ unique contemporary language. While access to what’s Cuban may be achieved without even visiting the island, exposure to Cubaneo can only be achieved in Cuba, immersed and surrounded by Cubans. Only then can their behavior, including negative attitudes, their interactions and aspirations, their feelings and ways of being and living reveal itself. These mosaics capture the essence of Cubaneo, leaving behind the foreign and naïve views often used by other photographers looking to depict this island and its people.
For this project, Guglielmo visited Santiago de Cuba, Baracoa, Havana, and Viñales shortly before and after President Obama’s landmark trip to Cuba in March 2016, the first by a sitting US President in 88 years. In February 2017, Guglielmo returned to the island, this time to Cienfuegos and Trinidad, just two months after the death of Fidel Castro. An homage to Cuba at this historic moment, this project chronicles a dynamic and rich culture full of heart and soul.
Each mosaic is handmade by taping together hundreds, sometimes thousands, of individual photographs. Neither a computer nor Photoshop is used. Culled from dozens of audio interviews, Guglielmo recorded in Spanish diverse Cuban voices and perspectives, which will be part of the exhibition. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery. It debuted in Northampton, Mass in June 2017 and has since become the most attended show in the 40-year history of APE Gallery with over 3,500 visitors in 26 days. In February 2018, it will travel to galleries in Cienfuegos and Trinidad, Cuba.
Mark Guglielmo received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Haverford College, Pennsylvania in 1992. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, The Sun Magazine, Arts New England, and Preview Massachusetts. A former rapper and hip-hop producer, he has collaborated with Eminem, Cut Chemist, Evelyn Harris, and Young@Heart Chorus, helping to launch their Prison Project and still participates in weekly rehearsals with the incarcerated at Chicopee Women’s Prison and Northampton Men’s Prison. His instrumentals are the soundtrack to hundreds of TV shows including Pimp My Ride, America’s Next Top Model, and The Real World while his paintings and photo-mosaics are in private collections around the world.
David Guerra, Director of A R E A Gallery, is a lawyer and an independent curator based in Boston. He studied law at the University of Havana, Oxford and Harvard University. David founded A R E A in 2016 as an alternative to the contemporary art gallery, active in both the primary and secondary markets. A R E A is an interdisciplinary space to celebrate art, design and architecture. His passion for innovation in the arts has led him to collaborate on a variety of projects and exhibitions as a photographer and curator in Boston.
For more information, please visit markguglielmo.com or call Julia Cseko at 617-927-1717. For press inquiries, please contact the artist at firstname.lastname@example.org or the curator David Guerra at email@example.com
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