100 Creatives: Artist Frank Chinea Paints Scenes of a Moody Apocalypse

In honor of our "People" issue, which hit newsstands November 17, New Times proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes. Have suggestions for future profiles? Let us know in the comments.

#83: Frank Chinea

Frank Chinea’s art is a haunting and evocative rendition of the inner experience. Dark shadows and deep colors fill the canvas, depicting a stormy scene as a window to the subconscious. With contorted and thick brushstrokes, his work appears muddled as if blanketed in fog, but the characters and themes remain clear and defined. Chinea’s work explores the colors of loneliness and even, at times, despair but comes together dressed in the trappings of hope.

As if created from a dream, Chinea’s wildly fantastical displays explore a deeper channel of the unknown. The Cuban-American artist positions himself as a window into the soul – carefully crafting scenarios that, as humans, we want to explore and those we do not want to face. His work has been displayed locally and across the globe, at venues such as the Shanghai Art Fair and Barrio Museum.
What was your last big project?
"Black Dreams 2010," a solo show at the gallery Curators Voice Art Project, curated by Dr. Milagros Bello.

What is your next project?
My current project is based on a personal experience. It took place during my childhood at Riverside Elementary School in 1963; I was a recent arrival and spoke very little English. Sometime after lunch, an alarm bell rang, and to my surprise, we were all told to go under our desk and cover our heads with both of our hands. This incident has remained in my memory for all these years and in the memory of many in my generations.

What do you want Miami to know about you?
My barrio kids and how we assimilated in this new world.

What don’t you want Miami to know about you?
That my favorite city is New York.

What’s one thing you want people to know about Miami?
Our multicultural diaspora.
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