Cindy Becerra, Thomas Bils, Jon Millan, Emma del Rey,Beatriz Rodriguez, Rachel Lee, Ema Ri, Alejandro Valencia
Reception on Saturday August 12 from 6-9 pm
Make it Nice Again
“ …and this again is typifying the end of an empire. Where things were so great, we have this last ‘umpth’ of momentum that we used to be great, and we felt great, and we don’t feel it anymore, that everyone is but searching for it.”
—David Morgan, Four Horsemen
“We live in a strange time.”
—Adam Curtis, HyperNormalisation
It is a radical notion to subsist as an artist. The artists’ mission is to advance the cause of new ways of thinking and put more “light” in the world. In a society that rewards consumerism, it is important to critically examine the role of the artist as emerging participants in the grand exchange of ideas.
Make It Nice Again is an attempt to reconcile the realities of our society, with a desire to focus on our current socio-political climate. As a response to the confusion and unpredictability of our times, the artists’ strive to recapture a sense of nostalgia and stability, examining the past as a means to create a dialog to help navigate the future.
This exhibition will address the uncertainty as we work towards a better outlook. To this end the artists will engage in mutual discourse, concentrating on a proliferation of creative ideas that form the basis for alternative perspectives.
About the Artists
Cindy Becerra’s works are a product of erratic gestures that intuitively exist within whimsical spaces. She investigates the connection between physical and spiritual realms through drawing and painting. Becerra (Bogotá, Colombia 1994) is a recent graduate of the New World School of the Arts with a BFA in painting. Her work has been shown at the Cisneros Fontanals Foundation, Miami Biennale, and the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood.
Rachel Lee’s work is pulled from ’90s alternative music, video games, and the Miami suburbs; concert images and polygon graphics converge with lakes and parks, shifting between known surroundings and artificial realities. These objects are the result of a constant state of escapism, driven by nostalgia and isolation. Lee (American 1994) lives and works in Miami, FL. Her studio practice is based in painting, printmaking, and ceramics, inspired by the DIY work ethic of American punk/alternative rock musicians and the aesthetics of ’90s video game graphics. Her work has been exhibited at the Miami Art Museum (2011, 2012), Miami Biennale (2016), University of Wisconsin, Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, ArtCenter South Florida, and the Long Beach Island Foundation (2017.) She will receive her BFA in Painting from New World School of the Arts at the end of 2017.
In trying to understand the world around us, navigating our way through the abyss of uncertainties, searching for answers that can’t be easily explained. We find ourselves lost, and back to where we started. I believe love is key to coping during shifting times. It’s undefining qualities hold a power that uplifts the soul, blindly leading us together as one. My work attempts to reenact these moments of love through materials found in nature, as well as objects that are contingent and flux. Ema Ri (American 1988) is a Miami based Cuban-American artist. Their work has exhibited in Cisneros Fontanals Foundation (2017), the African Cultural Art Center (2017), the Miami Biennale (2016), the NWSA Rising Star Show (2016), the Miami History Archive (2016), and Noguchi Breton (2015). They earned their BFA in Drawing with a Minor in Art History from the New World School of the Arts in 2017.
Jon Millan is interested in investigating the relations people have between each other and the material world. He researches familiar structures we may occupy and the labor that goes into building them. By recontextualizing the materials he uses outside of their intended purpose, Jon Millan wishes to open up a dialogue of reconnecting and critically thinking about the world around us. Millan (American 1995) is a Miami based artist and a recent graduate of New World School of the Arts with a BFA in Sculpture.
Alejandro Valencia was born in Pereira, Colombia, 1990. Lives and works in Miami, Florida, and Pereira, Colombia. He attended Miami Dade College (2009-2013) and New World School of the Arts (2013-2017) where he received a BFA in Painting. Valencia’s work has been exhibited in The Boca Raton Museum of Art (2013); Little Haiti Cultural Center (2015); Bridge Red Studios (2015); Miami Biennale (2016); The Cultural Conservancy, San Francisco, CA (2016); and most recently at the Cisneros-Fontanals Art Foundation in Miami, FL; the South Florida Art Center, MDC North Gallery, and the Hollywood Art and Culture Center. Crossing between various disciplines, Valencia’s practice explores the transformative qualities of objects, language, and the built environment. Often referencing ritualistic practices, architecture and ceremonial objects, his work attempts to open spaces of contemplation and connection, as an option to reconcile divisions within social structures.
Emma del Rey
Emma del Rey (American, b. 1994) is a recent graduate of the New World School of the Arts with a BFA in Photography. Her work has been shown in the Cisneros Fontanals Foundation as well as the NWSA Rising Stars Show. Emma del Rey’s work is a product of the fascination of exploring brief moments and encounters within a space. Her interest is in acknowledging subtle relations between specific arrangements, evoking balance through moments of tranquillity. Focusing on the proportion of objects and their proximity Emma perceives the affect they have on their occupied space; She responds by identifying with minimal gestures and simplified forms. The isolation of these moments provide a space of harmony and a relevancy of purpose.
Beatriz Rodriguez’s paintings depict landscapes that are disorienting. They incorporate partly representational elements along with ambiguous ones to create an environment where improvisations occur. They do this through displaced sources of lights, shadows, shapes, patterns, layers of paint and various types of processes. The landscapes are metaphors representing how the environments around us adapt to each other. These individual landscapes come together to form a much bigger place. Rodriguez (b. 1994, Hialeah) is a Miami based artist. She is a recent New World School of the Arts graduate with a BFA in Painting. Her work has been exhibited at the Cisneros-Fontanals Art Foundation, Art Center South Florida, the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center and the Kram Magazine release party.
Thomas Bils’s works are a reflection on his adolescent’s quest to find meaning in the confines of his isolated suburban hometown. Through the exploration of space, weight, and narrative he creates images that replicate the same emotional suspense that he had experienced growing up in Melbourne. Bils (American, 1993) is a graduate of the NWSA Class of 2017, having majored in painting. He has recently exhibited works in Cisneros-Fontanals Art Foundation (2017).