81. Farley Aguilar

In honor of our People Issue, which will hit newsstands and computer screens November 25, Cultist proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes in random order. Have suggestions for future profiles? Email [email protected] with the whos and whys.

81. Farley Aguilar
Farley Aguilar's natural gifts as an artist make him an unusual specimen. The self-taught painter makes brilliance look easy and talent look like something you can buy at Walgreens. Aguilar claims that his inspiration comes from out of nowhere. He's in the shower, washing his hair, and suddenly, he knows what he's going to spend the next few weeks or hours painting. Though he's not a religious man, or a guy with a sinister obsession with witches and Pegasus, his paintings tell grand mythological tales with fantastical creatures, all in just one frame.

​An early work of Aguilar's, Mermaid, exemplifies his use of a visual narrative and interesting characters to tell a larger story. In this painting, a lynch mob in a suburban neighborhood, with zombie eyes, loiter about as mermaids dangle from their scaly tails above. Their looks and postures demonstrate the sort of disinterest most Americans save for pictures from Abu Ghraib as they click over to What he's trying to say is important, sure, but like all of Aguilar's creations, the image itself is what powerfully draws us in and takes us to another place.

Considering that Aguilar's work is greatly affected by cinema, it's no surprise that what he produces is reminiscent of Ingmar Bergman, Terry Gilliam, and Federico Fellini.  Recently, at his second solo show at Spinello Gallery, Aguilar introduced audiences to his first film. It is as spooky and as comfortingly familiar as his paintings, and includes a witch, of course, performed by his lovely muse Kizzy Gonzalez. His mythological creatures and circus folk tap into a collective unconscious, connecting us to something larger than ourselves, and help us understand what we can't quite explain.

1. List five things that inspire you.

Things that inspire me are films, other artists and Kizzy.

2. What was your last big project?

My last big project was my solo show, "The Fates," at the Spinello gallery.

3. What's your next big project?

I just got done with two solo shows a few months apart, but I want to make a short film and I am thinking about another large show that would be called: "The Others."

4. Why do you do what you do?

I don't exactly know, but I like the challenge of always figuring out an image and figuring out that little something extra that makes it special.

5.  What's something you want Miami to know about you? What's something you don't want Miami to know about you?

I am a very private person so I usually don't tell people much about myself unless I feel comfortable around them. Lots of people don't even know I make art work.

The Creatives so far:

82. Colin Foord
83. Karelle Levy

84. Matt Gajewski
85. Antonia Wright
86. Charles Allen Klein
87. Christy Gast
88. Gustavo Matamoros
89. Shareen Rubiera-Sarwar

90. Kyle Trowbridge
91. Clifton Childree
92. Jessica Gross
93. Danny Brito
94. Nektar de Stagni
95. Anthony Spinello
96. Vanessa Garcia
97. Justin Long
98. Rosie Herrera
99. Rick Falcon

100. Ingrid B

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Liz Tracy has written for publications such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, Refinery29, W, Glamour, and, of course, Miami New Times. She was New Times Broward-Palm Beach's music editor for three years. Now she plays one mean monster with her 2-year-old son and obsessively watches British mysteries.
Contact: Liz Tracy