The 8th Floor is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in New York of Cuban-born artist, Armando Mariño, entitled Recent Paintings from the Year of the Protester. This exhibition features over twenty new paintings and works on paper, including a 13-foot diptych among other large-scale paintings.
For this solo exhibition, Armando Mariño employs an expanded visual vocabulary that departs from his former style, to depict the global upheaval of 2011. Dynamic, anonymous figures engaged in acts that reference real footage are placed in rich, fluorescent and abstracted backdrops. Faces, obscured by either masks or the painter’s hand, correspond to Mariño’s sublimation of the source material.
Mariño’s canvases elevate the mass protests, change, and tumult of the last year to an epic level by confronting the aestheticization of violence. Familiar references are distorted to evoke the feeling of an altered account of events, bringing awareness to our increased and normalized intake of aggressive media. This domestication of violence implies an ethical dilemma that confronts the competence and responsibility of painting as a medium. In the words of the artist, “Once again, I am playing with the symbolic status of painting and its capacity to, at once, monumentalize and trivialize human drama.”
Recipient of the 2011 Pollock Krasner Foundation award, Armando Mariño was born in Santiago de Cuba and educated in Havana, Cuba and Amsterdam, Netherlands. He has exhibited extensively in museums and galleries including the Mattress Factory, El Museo del Barrio, Katonah Art Museum, Johannesburg Art Gallery, and the Wifredo Lam Center for Contemporary Art, among others. In 2010, Mariño held a residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) and in 2011 was Artist-in-Residence at the Bronx Museum. His work is held globally in numerous public and private collections. This is his first solo exhibition in New York. He recently relocated to New York, where he lives and works.