Arts & Entertainment

International exhibition of “outsider” art in Miami to display unique pieces

Miami, Apr 10 (EFE).- A group of “outsider” creators from the United States, Spain, Cuba and Paraguay in May will exhibit about 100 of their “unique” artistic creations in Florida in what is considered to be the largest exposition ever mounted by the National Art Exhibitions of the Mentally Ill (NAEMI).

Juan Martin confirmed the show to EFE on Sunday. He is the executive director of the foundation started in 1988 in Miami with the aim of supporting the artistic development of people recovering from mental illness.

The show, which will open on May 7 at the MAD Studios gallery in Dania Beach and be free to the public, is titled “Wandering in the Wilderness.”

NAEMI holds in its permanent collection more than 1,200 examples of “outsider” art, that is to say art created by people with mental illnesses, whose work has largely been marginalized in the art community and among the public.

According to NAEMI, “Wandering in the Wilderness” includes “important and internationally recognized” names among Cuban outsider art, including Jorge Albeto Cadi “El Buzo,” Misleidys Castillo Pedroso and Rigoberto Carosla (Rigo).

Joining their work at the exposition will be pieces by recognized creators such as Americans Echo MacCallister and Gary Brewer, Spain’s Ramon Losa, and, for the first time in the US, Paraguayan artist Fernando Bachero.

According to the NAEMI Website, Castillo, who was born with “brain, hearing and autistic impediments. She has always lived in her own secluded world, inserted in a familiar environment.” Since she was a little girl, her passion has been to paint with watercolors and work with pencil, the foundation said.

Regarding Hernandez Cadi, his creative journey in picking through trash and garbage has made him popularly known as “El Buzo” (The diver).

He uses recycled items such as brass and wooden containers onto the outside and inside of which he adds black and white photos and he also draws sexual and diabolic images with a ballpoint pen, NAEMI said.

Bachero, featured in an extensive 2016 article in Paraguay’s ABC daily, is defined as a “difficult artist” who has a ferocious impact, drawing on white cards familiar and recognizable figures that, even so, “are not part of our world.”

According to NAEMI, “marginal art” refers to unbelievably unique works produced by artists who have not received academic training.

Sometimes called Art Brut, marginal art originated in the collections of 19th century European psychiatric hospitals, where doctors clinically analyzed the patients’ work, the foundation said.

Martin confirmed on Sunday that NAEMI is still looking for a “fixed space” where it can exhibit the foundation’s permanent collection.

In February, the foundation put its exposition “The Language Game” on display at the Kendall Art Center in southern Miami, where 40 works by mentally ill artists focused on text as an artistic medium, something that has been present in “outsider art” since 1919.

NAEMI’s mission is to promote the artistic works of “outsider artists,” increase artists’ credibility in a society that would otherwise ostracize them and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness worldwide.

EFE jip/amg/bp

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