Kenise Barnes Fine Art is pleased to open the fall exhibition season with a solo exhibition featuring new paintings by Cuban artist Carlos Gamez de Francisco. Nine new large-scale watercolor paintings will be featured in this exhibition, Gamez de Francisco’s debut exhibition with the gallery.
Carlos Gamez de Francisco was born in post-revolutionary Cuba in 1987 in a climate of art censorship and limited access to information. The artist was educated in an academic style heavily influenced by the Russian Academy. This influence and the history of Cuba itself, its storytelling and history, are the lens through which the artist creates quasi-historic paintings. By de-contextualizing epochs and artistic symbols the artist establishes a connection between present and past, weaving historic and fictional narratives together to create illusory worlds.
Gamez de Francisco’s understanding of beauty in its various forms is the driving motivation for all his work. The eight lavishly embellished portraits in this exhibition explore themes of power and social hierarchies, perfection, beauty, and abundance. The women’s exquisite faces and exotic costumes and fanciful settings are alluring and mysterious. An impressive sixty-inch circular painting populated by tens of thousands of brightly colored beetles is another dizzying contribution to the exhibition. The painting’s unusual format and skillful execution underscore the artist’s formal training and innovation.
Gamez de Francisco earned degrees from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and The Jose Marti Fine Arts School, Holguin, Cuba. The Art Institute of Chicago honored Gamez de Rodriguez with an Ox Bow Merit Scholarship, a Distinguished Scholarship Grant, and a Travel Scholarship. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout Cuba and the United States. Gamez de Francisco has work in the permanent collections of 21c Museum, Louisville, KY, Metro Hall, Louisville, KY and Cuba Ocho Museum and Performing Art Center in Miami, FL. The artist lives and works in Cuba and Chicago.