Glexis Novoa

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05/2017 MIAMI HERALD


Who says Miami’s art scene closes in summer? Shows at three spaces prove otherwise (periodical)
By Anne Tschida, Miami Herald, Miami. May 05, 2017


View from Pravda tower, Havana 2017 graphite on Carrara marble and granite -- marble recovered from Havana --, 10 ¾ x 20 ¾ inches

Who says Miami’s art scene closes in summer? Shows at three spaces prove otherwise (excerpt)
"Gallery exhibits across the county this spring give us a good feel for how far our visual arts scene has developed. The three highlighted here are just a sampling, serving to highlight the diversity of options in both genres and neighborhoods.

Let’s start on South Beach, at the David Castillo Gallery, one of the many galleries to have departed Wynwood several years ago. Cuban-born, Miami-based Glexis Novoa is one of our most prominent artists, his graphite on marble and canvas works instantly recognizable.

But these new works have a resonance that frankly, a year ago on this side of the Florida Straits, would not have provoked the same emotion. The beautifully composed cityscapes are stark barren worlds, devoid of humans but filled with missiles and monuments to totalitarian power. In muted gray, black and off-white coloring, numerous missiles are flying in all directions in one stunning, large-scale work. The current heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula, with North Korea launching frequent missile tests, makes this 2016 piece eerily prescient. And reference to one of the defining moments in the relationship between Cuba and the United States — the Cuban missile crisis — is obviously on the surface here as well.

There is also no ambiguity in one of the show’s introductory pieces. On what could be a ship’s mast, several flags are flying and mechanical gadgets are attached; the post is topped by an eagle. Anyone familiar with Nazi symbolism will recognize this particular militaristic image, and because of that association the word spelled out below could be mistaken as “triumph.” But it reads “Trump.”

This new set of works is titled “Bad Niños.” They are all about a dystopian past, present and future. There are no human figures, aside from the occasional statue with arm raised in salute. Look closely at the image of a city on a bay. It is Havana — but it could be Miami in the future? At the edge of the water is an out-sized statue, as big as some of the monstrous buildings, pointing ominously out to sea. Some of the smaller pieces are drawn on marble, and the marked and scratched stone adds an unpredictable element to the scene."...