Julio Figueroa-Beltrán (b. 1984, Havana) attended the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro (1999-2003) and the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA, 2004-07), both in Havana, prior to establishing himself in Miami, USA. Rooted in the Cuban and Latin American fascination with oneiric consciousness and its surprising juxtapositions, Figueroa-Beltrán brings these in line with images of everyday modern life. Wind turbines, highway overpasses, and astronauts intersect with galleons, icebergs, jellyfish, and tropical blooms. Forests and wooden birdhouses meet military drones and theater stages. The mind as voluptuary in a harem of tropes dissolves causality and linear time to produce paintings which subordinate the passing issues of the day to the appetites of the archetype-driven imagination. With solo and group exhibitions in the US and Italy and works in the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University and other prominent collections, Figueroa-Beltrán has secured a distinguished place in the art of his generation.
- Motus in Tempus. Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Fort Myers, FL
- Interference. San Pietro in Atrio, Como, Italy
- Midnight Passages. Kendall Art Center, Miami, FL
- Fantasy and Adventure. Frederic Boloix Fine Arts, Ketchum, ID
- Visual Therapy. The Frank Gallery, Pembroke Pines ,FL
- Florida Contemporary. Artis-Naples The Baker Museum of Art, Naples, FL
- Last Exit: Painting. Bakehouse Art Complex, Miami, FL.
- Cuban-Yank Tanks. Children’s Gallery Homestead, FL.
- Killing and Salting. Accent Alternative Art Space, Miami, FL.
- New Paintings. 108 Exhibit Gallery Miami, FL.
- Scape Mechanisms. Comtemporanea Fine Art Miami, FL.
- Repair of the Memory. Ruben Martinez Villena Gallery, Havana, Cuba.
- Collateral 9 Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba.
- Size XXL Mariano Rodriguez Art Gallery Havana, Cuba.
- Art Show International Press Center, Havana, Cuba.
His work is in the collection of the Frost Art Museum of the Florida International University as well as in several private collections in the United States and abroad.
MIDNIGHT PASSAGE Julio Figueroa-Beltrán’s by Ricardo Pau-Llosa
A forest of shelters—birdhouses clustering across trunks—a scene oneiric and theatrical, onto which a man in a suit is entering. We see him from behind, onstage. We watch and follow, conjuring the intimate possibilities of the fantastic as a kind of personal real. The proscenium between observer and scene in Figueroa-Beltrán’s recent paintings are the pivotal conceptual boundary between his imagination and ours, a stylistic trait he has inherited from Surrealism and the various expressions of poetic realism in Latin American art. Midnight marks the temporal boundary between two days, but at that instant, we are in both simultaneously. Likewise, these paintings mark how the complexities of any passage overturn the linear rules of quotidian time and experience. An iceberg on its implacable journey echoes the towering arcs of an expressway and the cold fires of the aurora borealis. In these paintings, metaphor binds only to separate its components. Juxtaposition devoid of similitude revels in incongruity—orchids and jellyfish reflect on an astronaut’s helmet, a windmill ablaze rises from a calla lily. And, in a recent return to a fusion of found-object sculpture and painting which typified his earliest works, car doors propped upon other auto parts become the support for images that boldly impose the logic of incongruity on trope and common experience alike. In these works, the real becomes personal by an act of will, not through intuition or discovery.