Architecture couldn't contain him. Neither could interior design. Eleazar Delgado, amateur historian, intellectual philosopher, and resident Wynwood artist, needed more freedom of expression, so he turned away from concrete and towards canvas.
Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Delgado says that Miami has become his muse -- which is evident in the images of such Miami notables as James Deering in Delgado's work. Miami is where it's at for Delgado. "There's nowhere else I'd rather work. Miami continues to inspire my body of work and the art community here is a vibrant one with unprecedented potential."
And the transplant probably knows more about local history than most natives. As we strolled through his gallery, he regaled us with tasty informational tidbits about Julia Tuttle, the Deering brothers, and Miami's art scene.
After having experienced Latin America and Europe, why did Delgado choose Miami?
"In Caracas, artists are on their own as far as creating a following, generating traffic, and finding resources -- there isn't a sense of community. Miami has a wonderful community-oriented group of artists and art lovers that make being an artist a constant learning experience. Everyone knows each other, supports each other, and inspires each other here. It's a big city with a small city feel. We're a strong collective making moves in the name of growing the Miami art scene. It's something I take great pride in."
And out of all of Miami, why open his space in Wynwood?
"It just felt right. I didn't know what I was looking for until I found it. I love that I'm able to open to the public during the day, have both a space to showcase my work as well as enough studio space to paint. The energy in Wynwood is dynamic and inspiring."
A constant and ubiquitous reminder of the impact of Miami's art scene is the bloated success of Romero Britto, which thrills some artists and irks others. Has Delgado experienced any Britto backlash? "Some people love to love you and some love to hate you. This is true for anyone successful in any field," says Delgado. "Fortunately, I have yet to personally experience backlash. I feel very blessed that my work has been well received and that the concept is something Miami can appreciate because through my work I am telling Miami's story."
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He adds, "Miami is becoming a true art player in the art world and it's very exciting to be part of this growth. Of course this means trying to keep up with marketing, PR, networking, supporting fellow artists, and most importantly, scheduling enough time to actually work on painting!"
Delgado concludes, "I love when I have the whole day to just create, no events, meetings or social engagements. Just me and the canvas and my paints in my own secluded world. Being in my studio makes me the happiest, creating something that conveys my passion and inspiration is really my favorite part of my day-to-day."
Delgado's work is usually on display at Eleazar Delgado Studios in Wynwood and is also being exhibited at the Downtown Miami Residents and Visitors Center (900 S. Miami Avenue #183, Miami) through August 21. Attend the opening reception Saturday, August 4 from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. Delgado will also be participating at Bird Road Art Walk on August 18 at 7 p.m. For more information visit eleazardelgado.com and follow him on Twitter @eleazardelgado.