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.
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?
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!
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
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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.