MasterMind Award Finalists: Visual

Meet the three finalists in the Visual category for our second annual MasterMind awards. Art, when successful, should open up our senses, force us to see things that are lost if not looked for, hear sounds we never really listen to, or  make connections between things and ideas we never pair. Art gives us a new way of experiencing our world.

On February 10,  we will hand out three $1,500 genius grants during our annual Artopia cultural celebration. This year the MasterMind grants will recognize an artist working in each of three different disciplines -- visual, narrative, and sound -- who expresses a unique vision that helps us view our landscape and soundscape afresh. Here are the first three. Congratulations.

Beatriz Monteavaro

If you thought Punk rock, Disney films, and horror movies have nothing

in common, you haven't seen Beatriz Monteavaro's whimsically disturbing

installations, sculptures, and paintings. Monteavaro's world is peopled

by ghostly apparitions rising from the floor of cartoon-purple-lighted

rooms and swamp creatures rendered in brushstrokes that turn the paint

into seaweed still dripping from the deep. It is a world inhabited by

space apes and zombies brought to life in colorful comic-book images

that manage to be both bone-chilling and beautiful. Her vision is the

substance of nightmares caught in the trappings of a brightly lit

pop-culture world. And what could be more Miami?

Frank Garaitonandia

At first glance, Frank Garaitonandia's haunting images of barren

battlefields occupied by otherworldly apparitions seem to have more to

do with apocalyptic visions of early chemical warfare than with

present-day Miami. But Garaitonandia is Cuban, and, like many exiles, he

is obsessed with capturing a sepia-colored world lost in the fog of

nostalgia, where figures fade in and out of the past. It is an inner

space suspended between two worlds and as disturbing as his installation

of a brass bed-frame under a stark dangling light where a crowd of

religious statuettes have gathered for the night. If only we could see

the work of the grade school students Garaitonandia teaches!

Christy Gast

In Christy Gast's Herbert Hoover Dyke, a lone figure dances her way

through a sprawling industrial landscape. She stomps on steel grates and

water tanks, leaps on a bridge and a truck, and shuffles across a

stone-strewn field and down an empty road. And suddenly, the Herbert

Hoover Dike is transformed into one gigantic stage set, its parts

becoming ready-made instruments. Such is the transformative power of

art. In Gast's video, installations, and performances, the artist's keen

eye and ear trains the spotlight on tiny details, holes, and missing

parts, on sounds that are often lost in the cacophony of a metropolis.

If we look and listen, we begin to see ourselves. Read about the artist's projects and inspirations in our 100 Creatives profile.

Next up, our MasterMind award finalists in the Narrative category. Read about the Sound finalists here.

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Jorge Casuso
Contact: Jorge Casuso