Life Streams: Alberto Rey's Cuban and American Art (SUNY Series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture)

Life Streams: Alberto Rey's Cuban and American Art (SUNY Series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture)

Language: English

Pages: 267

ISBN: 1438450567

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"Life Streams" explores the paintings, videos, sculptures, and installations of Alberto Rey, an artist whose work addresses issues of identity, cultural diversity, environmental studies, and global sustainability. As a Cuban-born artist living in western New York State, Rey s current work emphasizes his involvement with his community and its local landscape, especially its trout streams and their surrounding environment. Through Rey s travels from his home in the upstate New York village of Fredonia to the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and to almost every state in the United States, he has gained an understanding of people, places, flora, and fauna.
This book provides biographical information about Rey and a contextual study of his work. The contributors have written about Rey s work from perspectives based on cultural studies, identity studies, literary studies, and philosophical studies. Interest in his Cuban and American identities are linked to his interest in global culture and his recent study of fish species and environmental issues. As such, this book reflects current approaches that focus attention on connected cultural issues and contemporary concerns about the environment, conservation, restoration, and preservation. Rey s work provides a new perspective on these topics as he combines art with activism on a local, regional, national, and international level."

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Gramercy International Contemporary Art Fair, Miami, FL, Emilio Navarro Projectos Contemporaneo Art Miami, Miami, FL, Emilio Navarro Projectos Contemporaneo 1996 Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY, Toys: The Artist at Play Forum Gallery, Jamestown, NY, Regional Review Lucky Street Gallery, Key West, FL, Gallery Artists (group exhibition) Bronx Museum of Art, Bronx, NY, Amidst the Silence: Enrique Martinez Celaya and Alberto Rey (two-person exhibition) 1995 Adams Art Gallery,

and place meant that as he recovered, he turned to the occupation he had identified as being restorative and that could bring a renewed sense of purpose to his life. The new series, which accomplished Rey’s new goals, was Trout Encounters. In 2000, Rey began an almost microscopic scrutiny of the trout for which he fished, and he began to paint portraits of trout in the various stages of their life cycle in the streams that he fished. For Rey, it was important to re-create the proportions, color,

fifty years, has depicted the ocean tragedy since those early years and has obsessively treated the theme from different perspectives and painterly styles. In fact, the first balsa images of Luis Cruz Azaceta—produced in the early 1970s, a time roughly contemporary to the writing of View of Dawn in the Tropics— showed depictions of this theme in its most naked stages. In an interview with Jorge Gracia (2008), Azaceta remarks that he dealt with certain themes such as the balsa crossings because

relationship between low and high art: his titles represent an additional aspect of this dialectic in that they are overtly scientific, often undercutting the otherwise romantic sensibility one may detect in his work. They are reminiscent of Audubon’s austere titles like Swallow Tailed Hawk, 1821, Drawn from Nature, Oakley Plantation, Louisiana. Titles of this nature allow Rey to use Audubon to justify some of his choices as accepted aesthetic conventions, while simultaneously pointing to the

dignified portraits of formerly abused chimpanzees, to represent the latter.8 Where, then, do Rey’s relatively (but never absolutely) naturalistic “portraits” of living and dead fish fit into this discourse? While none of this volume’s contributors approaches Rey’s work from an explicit animal studies perspective, several of them raise these issues implicitly, alternately exploring both the artist’s “anthropomorphic” identification with the fish, on the one hand, and his attempt to reach outside

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