ARTIST STATEMENT / BIO
I was born in Valencia, Venezuela in 1967 to parents who were medical professionals. Their debates about how decisions effect health and human behavior influenced me to make art that would offer a different way to view the world. I moved to the United States at age 21 to study art, earning a Master's in studio art from New York University, NY.
Early paintings were influenced by my Venezuelan heritage and its pre-Columbian culture which revolves around home, family, religion, and the land. Fascinated by uniforms, I painted figures clothed in religious garments or military gear in the stylized Latin folk-art tradition. As an American-based, Venezuelan-born artist, I traveled often between these countries and began to think about cultural differences and connections both countries share. In 2003 my wife and I moved to Venezuela, where I worked for a period of eight years. We left my homeland and returned to the United States in 2011.
Our young son quickly became immersed in American life, which inspired me to include motifs from today's youth culture. Childhood toys, superhero cartoons and video game characters swiftly became themes of inspiration.
Liminal Labyrinths is my latest body of work, a progression of an earlier series, Enredaderas – expressionistic canvases crowded with twisted vines – reimagined as clean, colorful shapes reminiscent of subway maps or mazes. In some of these large acrylic canvases, my energetic gestures stand unadorned, suggesting orchestral movements building upon each other. In others, cartoon characters pursue mysterious missions in this labyrinthine environment, while ghostly doodles float in the background like half-formed ideas waiting to express themselves. The references to childhood lend wit and playfulness to the abstract forms, but also a certain nostalgia.
Having spent half of my life in Venezuela and an equal amount in the United States, my bi-cultural perspective, and growing awareness about the differences and commonalities between these two countries, will continue to inform my work. I remain committed to exploring in my artwork what I experience in life. Chaos, myth, injustice and memory - entangled and intertwined.
Arturo Correa is represented by Ascaso Gallery, based in Caracas and Miami. He has exhibited his work for the past 28 years, with 22 solo exhibitions in art museums, universities and art institutions throughout the United States and Venezuela. Correa’s paintings are in the permanent collection of 9 art museums and institutions in both the USA and Venezuela. He was artist-in-residence at the Singapore American School for five years and for ten years, guest lecturer
and instructor in Venezuela and the United States.