FIU Culture: ‘Celestial Traveler’ on display at Frost Art Museum

Pictures courtesy of Cristina Jatib

Cristina Jatib // Contributing Writer

The Frost Art Museum welcomed artists to display a compilation of their best work, from giant urban-style tapestries to a collection of Everglades landscape paintings.

One of the more unique galleries, and a main attraction for the museum, is the “Celestial Traveler” exhibition by Carlos Estevez, a contemporary Cuban painter and an experimental mixed media artist.

The exhibit showcases an eclectic collection of different forms of artwork that he has worked on for years as he experimented with expressing different thoughts on the universe, religion, emotions and other topics. Viewers are provoked to think on an existential level, trying to guess the meanings behind Estevez’s intricate and symbolic pieces.

Upon entering, different works of mixed media pieces are placed throughout the room, all sharing a central subject: vintage telephones. Each telephone is a mishmash of different objects that represent different ideas, such as the “Texting Phone,” a retro telephone combined with an old typewriter, and the “Daydream Phone” which utilizes a sewing machine and old Candlestick-style telephone.

The next section is dedicated to his two-dimensional works, which are paintings and drawings with different subject matters that reflected his view of the world.

The first sets of paintings are watercolor sketches of animals with industrial schematics of different machines to represent the skeleton of each animal.

According to Estevez, man made machinery is “a projection of our own being,” thus we are inspired by our own design to make things like sewing machines, which he related to a chicken pecking the ground.

The next set are minimalist mixed media paintings revolving around existential concepts, like “El arte de la política”, which translates to the art of politics. This piece displayed multiple puppet-like figures in straight rows with black triangles at their core, and over all of them was a larger figure that seemed to be impaled by the triangles, as if it were lying on a bed of nails.

Supplementing the work were dozens of large pages from Estevez’s sketchbook that showed scenes that he has imagined and reinterpreted through quick sketches.

“My work is part of my limited experience,” Estevez explains, “so it is my visual life, what I feel or dream; [it] is a way to say it.”

These are just some of the many diverse pieces on display that expressed Estevez’s worldview and attracted many art lovers, both associated with FIU and not.

Camila Miorelli, a senior art history major who was working the event, explained that it was a great turn out for the exhibition.

“I think it’s because all the artists here [on display] are great, and this event had very good coverage,” Miorelli said.

Hailey Dun, a third year student from Johnson and Wales University, came to view the art for herself.

“All of his pieces are very interesting and make you think about what he’s trying to say; it’s one of the more unique contemporary art galleries I’ve been to,” said Dun.

Estevez’s industrial inspired works, along with many other pieces in the gallery can be seen at the Frost Art Museum from Sept. 12 through Jan. 3, 2016.

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