New Times' MasterMind Awards honor the city's most inspiring creatives. We'll profile those honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three MasterMind Award winners — who'll receive $1,000 checks — will be announced February 18 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit newtimesartopia.com.
In just four years, Brookhart Jonquil has established himself as one of Miami's prominent artists. And though the California-born, Arizona- and Portland-raised Jonquil isn't sure whether he'll always call the Magic City home, for now he's getting himself a little more settled. "I've at least decided to stop thinking about leaving," he says.
Now represented by Emerson Dorsch gallery, Jonquil landed in Miami in 2012, after he was approached for a Cannonball (then LegalArt) residency. "I thought I would only stay for three months," he says, "but things kept happening and I kept staying."
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Taking advantage of inexpensive studio space and a favorable, nonhierarchical model for working artists, Jonquil has evolved his work in Miami, where he has been exhibited by various local institutions including the Bass Museum of Art, the de la Cruz Collection, and the Frost Art Museum. His work will appear as part of the "Aesthetics and Values" show in April at the Frost.
Jonquil insists his use of materials is in no way informed by the city's condo construction craze, but he acknowledges his work employs steel, glass, mirrors, and cement to comment on society's attempt at perfection in designing architecture. "I think what draws me to those materials in particular is that they're so common," he explains.
"It's sort of the fundamental foundation for building, and those materials are ones that everyone can relate to." By using reflective media, he juxtaposes physical structure with immaterial forces such as gravity and tension. He credits post minimal influencers like Gordon Matta-Clark and Robert Smithson as his muses.
Cementing his place in Miami's artistic community, Jonquil completed In a Perfect World (II), which was part of a series of sculptures he presented in a solo show at Emerson Dorsch two years ago. It was recently acquired by Miami Dade College for the student center of its Hialeah campus. Whether Jonquil departs Miami, his impact on the city's cultural panorama will remain.