Ivonne Ferrer: Challenges of the Iconic Era

/ 1 September, 2018

The concept of interaction with the image has reinvented its code in current times, in which we have also understood that postmodernism has steered the world media in its maximum expression.

(…) In the work of Cuban artist Ivonne Ferrer, who is currently living and working in Miami, the historic tendencies are revisited in one same creative space, with old-fashioned characters coexisting with contemporary hybrids, which don’t stop being construct surrealists, the product of the changes that all migratory transfer supposes for those who transcend the so called blessed circumstance of water everywhere.

Ivonne has joined the international cultural dynamics with successes in personal and collective expositions and placing in an honorable place the Cuban art of the so-called diaspora, doing away with the myth of the limit.

(…) Tell me about your beginnings in art and if they varied with respect to the current production.

The family influence of the Carbonells and the Cortinas, their military and intellectual weight in the liberation struggles, their close association with José Martí is going to be present at the beginning, just like their contributions to the republican culture. I especially recognize in my uncle, the maestro Carlos Sobrino, an outstanding painter of the 1960s when he goes into exile, his canvases always speak to me of his sociopolitical interest and of his crusade to dignify the farmers and women.

From the point of view of my artistic education, it happened in Cuba, during an important decade for our visual arts, the 1980s.

I studied in the 23 and C Elementary School, where I want to highlight the knowledge I received from professors like Elso Padilla, Julio Antonio, Emilio Rodríguez, Lourdes Porrata. After (…) I went on to San Alejandro, which represented teaching contributions of top-class lessons of History of Art by Alejo, and an interaction with fellow students who in a few years would play outstanding roles in plastic arts: Pedro Vizcaíno, Tania Bruguera, Carlos Estévez, Sandra Ramos, Carlos Luna, Luis Gómez, etc. When I graduated from sculpture in San Alejandro (…) I immediately studied restoration and conservation (…) led me to work in a privileged place, the City of Havana Museum, close to (…) Eusebio Leal. Almost at the same time I was able to form part of the team of the capital’s René Portocarrero Artistic Silk Screen Printing Workshop, headed by painter Aldo Menéndez, whom I married; this activity and the previous one marked my life (…).

Many sexual references coexist in your work, but I think that more than dealing with an erotic theme your work defends a political position (…).

I am riddled with allusions, for example, the erotic ingredient, but (…) that and any other insinuation, mention appear in terms of punctual problems and sensitivities, focusing on the problems. The erotic accommodated to the political criticism. Now I’m interested in the confrontation of past and present; today you can see in my paintings figures that resemble avant-garde sculptures, up to a certain point chasing, harassing, attacking characters from old engravings, who f ee amazed at these modern, eclectic, geometric works… it’s the interaction between the conservative individual and his horror in the face of progress. (…)

Claudia Taboada Churchman

Claudia Taboada Churchman

Havana, 1990. Art critic and curator. She currently works in Villa Manuela Gallery. Her texts have been published in ArteCubano, Revolución y Cultura, La Jiribilla, Noticias de ArteCubano, among others. In 2015 she received the Curatorial Award granted by the Center for the Development of Visual Arts for the project Pintura expandida.

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