EMERGING ARTISTS SHOWCASE IN MIAMI ARTWORKS ILLUMINATING THE PRESENT
Aluna Art Foundation presents three solo exhibitions at MIFA Gallery featuring emerging artists Bella Cardim (Brazil, 1978), Fernanda Froes (Brazil, 1970), and Vero Murphy (Argentina, 1973). These artists, in various ways, employ artistic imagination to reexamine historical currents and explore the connection between collective thinking and personal life. "We are convinced that it is possible to influence our vision of the world through art," says curator Adriana Herrera.
Cardim and Froes' personal projects are showcased on several rooms of MIFA, deviating from the conventional practice of assigning different titles to this type of exhibitions. The artists, along with curator Herrera, decided to use the same title - "No One is an Island." They chose this title for the profound truth it embodies, borrowed from John Donne's line, as well as its relevance in the present context. They hope it serves as a unifying call.
Murphy's project, curated by the Aluna Curatorial Collective, formed by Herrera and art historian Willy Castellanos, is closely linked to Froes' in terms of subject matter. Both artists work with botanical fibers and dyes that have left their mark on South American history. Murphy´s project is named after the term used by the Guarani people to describe the land they aspired to find in their ceaseless nomadic journeys: "Ivy-mará-ey" or "the Land without Evil." This title also encourages a connection between cultures. Murphy initiated the series with small-format artworks chosen for the exhibition Neither Civilization nor Barbarism: Cultures in Dialogue, curated by the Curatorial Collective Aluna, hosted at the Consulate of Argentina during the PINTA Art Fair 2017, as detailed in the book Vero Murphy: Conceptual Landscapes, published by Aluna Editorial.
The series Cultures in Friction (2017-), by Vero Murphy, marks the artist’s discovery of an abstract language as subjective as it is loaded with a collective memory linked to human geography and to the cultural landscape of Latin America. Instead of acrylics and oil paint, Murphy employs natural materials like gold and yerba mate. She extends them on the canvas as signs of historical tensions, proposing an aesthetic-poetic path that goes from the animosity between cultures long set in opposition to one another, to the search for dialogical spaces. By exploring the physical and symbolic specters of materials of both vegetable and mineral origin, Murphy is able to establish vast meeting spaces in her vestige-laden paintings. Embracing the concept of hybrid cultures each one of her pieces sensitizes memory, generating a syncretic and dialogical vision for the present and the future. Her art is her own way of giving continuity to the search for the Land without Evil. She has showcased her work in Italy, Spain, the United States, Brazil and Argentina. Among others places, she participated in Florence Biennale in Italy (2017), she has exhibited her work at Doral Contemporary Art Museum in Miami, Centro Cultural Borges in Buenos Aires and Pinta Miami Art Fair.
Fernanda Froes' work displays a transversal gaze that moves from one realm of nature to another in different series, all in pursuit of a key that can help us rediscover the age-old connection between living beings. It's key that our Western culture lost in its rapid push towards forms of domination that were devastating. In her extensive series inspired by the tree that gave its name to Brazil ─Ibirapitanga or Pau Brasil─ and that was exploited until it approached extinction, there is a delicate gesture of reinvention that extends its very existence. Froes transports the domains of the prodigious and varied vegetable dyes into the realm of artistic imagination, revealing their intersections with the history of America—a land that birthed the concept of utopia while being marked by multiple colonialist dystopias. In her no less delicate insect pieces, she explores the architectures that these small creatures employ in building their habitats as a way to invoke models of human cooperation in a time that urgently requires the coming together of diverse groups within the same species. Following the understanding of Levi-Strauss, her work essentially begins with the identification with all forms of life as a fundamental gesture of collective wisdom. Froes has showcased her work in exhibitions in São Paulo, New York, Miami, and Paris, in places such as the Ancient Spanish Monastery, Brazilian Consulate in Miami, Doral Contemporary ArtMuseum, Bref Art during Paris Design Week 2023, and SoHo House, Miami, among others.
Personal experience, especially when approached with the courage to expose unsettling themes, holds the potential to mirror the hidden realms, often unspeakable, of the social universe. Bella Cardim's art exposes, stemming from her own history, one of the most dissociative dichotomies of contemporary life: the split between the ideals of counterfeit beauty—perpetuated by the fusion of mass media and the incitement to consumption—and the reality of bodies constrained by parameters alien to themselves. Cardim has harnessed her artistic tools, honed over the years as a professional fashion and food photographer, along with a conceptual perspective, to reveal how, often without our awareness, bodies have been exposed to a pervasive mode of self-image distortion without us even realizing it. Innovating on the strategies used in art history to confront the construction of the social imaginary of our bodies, she uses food as metonymy, placing on it the weight of emotional fragility and eating disorders. In doing so, she develops a deeply personal language that incorporates texts and interactive resources to invite the dismantling of restrictive models and provoke an empowering and liberating gaze on the body, art, and life itself. The artist has recently been selected by "The 55 Project" for a solo show at The Bonnier Gallery. Bella has participated in collective shows in New York, Miami, Boston, and São Paulo and was selected for the 2022 Florida Biennial. Her presence in the June 2023 ConTEXT II exhibition at Art Fluent in Boston, USA, garnered her the "Director's Choice" award with I Will Not Be Ashamed of My Body, from the series "Writing Lines."