Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 150 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling our honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced March 8 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.
If you live in Miami, you've encountered a homeless person asking for change. Some people ignore them; others offer them some spare change. Yovani Bauta paints them. (Maybe he leaves a few quarters in their bucket, too, but that's beside the point.)
He's an American, born in Cuba, with degrees in the arts and law -- but he paints, because painting makes people happy. Bauta has been exhibited all over the world. His globe-trotting pieces have made it to Germany, France, Mexico, Spain, and Switzerland, as well as the U.S.
More than a painter, Bauta founded Sena del Humor, a comedy ensemble that allowed him to collaborate as an actor in a piece called Liborio Wants to Escape, which was performed in the U.S. and Mexico. He's worked with other mediums, like installations, and even written essays, which were published in Cadiz, Spain. Still not impressed? Geez, you're picky, but maybe this will help: Bauta was selected one of only 10 artists to represent America at the 2011 Shanghai Art Fair.
The subject of Bauta's work is no laughing matter, and as jokers, jerks, and misfits, we're coming right out to say it. In 2012 he began a series, "The Forgotten." He told us it features "various sectors of society who have been marginalized by the abrupt development of hyper-consumerism and the resulting individualism of the current world." Namely, elderly people, poor people, artists, and immigrants. Bauta painted the images to show "the body's imagery reveal a coarse emotional nerve."
Did Bauta hit a soft spot for us at Cultist? We're going to end this post without a snarky comment -- that should tell you all you need to know.
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