Art: Dreaming Havana: The Collision of Memory and Fact

e_Boy_Havana HarborArtist Enrique Flores-Galbis shows his latest series titled Dreaming Havana:  The Collision of Memory and Fact”at the Williams McCall Gallery South of Fifth.

Flores-Galbis is a landscape and portrait painter.  Born in Havana, Cuba, he left in 1961 with Operation Pedro Pan, arriving alone in South Florida at the age of 9.  Also a novelist, his award-winning book 90 Miles to Havana was based on the events that led to his departure and the life he encountered in the U.S.

Flores-Galbis PhotoHe explains, “This ongoing series of paintings began before the first return to my birthplace, my magnetic center, the island of Cuba. The first images, painted from memories, were tinged by the longings and emotions that this landscape evokes in the heart of an exile. After that first visit I started painting urban themes where the collision of memory and fact is the most violent. The bare buildings of Havana, bitten by the salt and wind have the look of paper-thin, brittle honeycombs. The clanging approach of an old Ford retrofit with a sputtering Fiat engine is unsettling but another worthy subject to paint if you want to address the intersection of nostalgia, history and cold fact.  These images did not come into the studio fully formed and asking to be painted. Rather, they bubbled up and then coalesced into a narrative when these messy notions and feelings were plugged into, and then shaped by the physical constraints and peculiarities of my chosen media. The alchemic process functioned as both antenna and lightning rod to focus and materialize electrical impulses– memory and fact. Although each painting presented as a surprise, they were carefully tuned to create viable narrative structures that directly communicate rather than vaguely resonate.”

Blue Rider 2Flores-Galbis received a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Parsons School of Design in 1992. He has served on the Faculty of the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts for over twenty years and Parsons School of Design for over sixteen years as well as the Morris and Montclair Museums in New Jersey.

 Flores-Galbis’ work can be found in corporate, university, and private collections throughout the country.

 The exhibit will open with an artist reception on Saturday, April19th at 6pm. The exhibit will run until May 6th. Williams McCall Gallery, 110 Washington Ave. CU-3, Miami Beach. For info: williamsmccallgallery.com or 786.359.4321

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