Cuban Artist Antonio Nuñez brings his mix of printing, collage and assemblage to the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery of Art at the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point Campus in an exhibit presented by The Latin Network for the Visual Arts (www.lnva.us).
The opening reception for the work of the artist, selected as LNVA's 2013 Artist of the Year, is Friday, Sept. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m.
The 13-piece exhibit, curated by Julia Pavone, runs from Sept. 13 through October 17. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 4 p.m., or by special arrangement.
Nuñez, who lives in Miami, returns to the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery, where he showcased several mixed-media pieces from his series “por el amor al mar” (for love of the sea) in the Latin Views 2010 biennial contemporary art exhibition produced by the Latin Network for the Visual Arts based in Gales Ferry. The LNVA selects artists to exhibit in the years when it is not producing its international biennial exhibit.
LNVA Co-Founders Mimi and Gastón Daumy cemented a friendship with Nuñez in 2010, visiting him several times at his Miami home and observing a change in style in which he created works using his own drawings and collage.
“These new works had a richness that struck Gastón and I as something novel and very creative,” Mimi said.
His mixed-media exhibit includes colorful assemblages mixing reality and fantasy, showcasing a three-dimensional world with a strong use of color, mixes, shadows and light.
Born in the countryside near Havana, Nuñez grew up fascinated with drawing and painting. He remembers being with his grandfather, gathering any material and media he could find to make pictures.
“The art I create provides me with the opportunity to escape from my daily reality,” the 62-year-old said in his artist’s statement. “It is an approach to a whimsical and imaginary realm, where memories and fantasies are brought to light.”
He said he bases the reference point for his works on old cultures within a cosmological vision dealing with today’s human, social and spiritual context.
Influenced by Cuban-born artist Baruj Salinas in 1995, Nuñez developed a new approach to his art. He has exhibited in solo and collective art shows in Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, Paris and Rome. He also has done illustrations for publications and completed a project for a hotel in Washington, D.C.
He began his journey by finishing college and working on prototypes and artistic products at a factory for the Cuban Department of Agriculture, according to biographical information on Nuñez on the ArtistaMundo website.
Still working at the factory, his artistic endeavors garnered attention and he enrolled in the National School of Design, graduating in 1978. Two years later, he came to America with the Mariel Flotilla.