Red and the Wolf. A love story

 Since I was a little kid, the story of the Little Red Ridding Hood never made sense to me. This duel between good and evil seemed warped somehow. In my child eyes, Red was never that good and nice and the wolf seemed more of a victim than and evil mastermind. But what bothered me the most was the hunter showing up at the end with no previous introduction and saving the day. Only when I became a father of a girl and read the story again and again, it all made sense. Then, I became the hunter.


Outcasts and Other Rejects

This group of paintings has a more serious and phylosophical flavor. But sometimes it is hard to see the connection among them because they don't tell a lineal story. Each painting is story of something that has happened to me, or a person that I have met. This is my take on personal, social events and the lives of others distilled through my brushes and encoded with ten thousand symbols.  

Immigrant Stories

 I started thinking about this series as soon as I became aware that for some people no matter what my passport reads, I won't ever be a "real" American. But I only started painting when the controversy about immigration in the United States and Europe started heating up. Every time that the news outrage me, becauright wing se of a new law or another politician blaming immigrants for the faults of society, I add a couple of paintings or drawings to this series.

I'm the Labyrinth

 I was introduced to the Minotaur story when I was around eight years old. My father was trying to make a philosophical point about something really important to improve my social skills. Needless to say, I did not get his point. I did get traumatized by the horror of being locked in a labyrinth. I felt pity for the mighty, lonely beast with nothing to do but to scare others with his presence, brute and unique, unaware of  his mortal nature. I have been painting Minotaurs ever since.

Songs I Remember

 When a song gets stuck in my head playing like a broken record, I take it out by painting it. The paintings are not illustrations of the songs and their meaning my not even be related to the lyrics. This is a fun series that goes to places that songs take me. I close my eyes and open my mind and let myself go without thinking too much about logical or symbolical relationship in the composition.

Getting Comfortable

Just a few samples of new themes that I started to paint during my first years of residence in the United States (1999-2005). I like this part of my life a lot. I got married, I had a smart beautiful girl, and I was constantly learning and in permanent cultural shock . I was immersed into a sea of new experiences: matrimony, fatherhood, consumerism, freedom of expression, minority status, racism, politics and political correctness. Needless to say, I did not paint as much as I used to paint in Cuba. 


El Peso de lo Cotidiano

 Most of these paintings belong to a very large series titled "El peso de lo cotidiano"/ The Daily Burden. I started it in 1997 while I was still living in Havana, Cuba. I kept on working on it for a while when I moved to Cleveland. It was laced with humor and political comments about the Cuban reality of the 1990's. Including ink drawings, small studies on canvas and finish paintings, I completed around 300 works on that series from 1997 to 2001. Unfortunately, I could not take photographic records of most of them, because I could not find a photographer in time. They practically sold out of the easel to collectors from all over the world. Here is just a small sample of them.


Public Art

 Sure, it is great to be able to work in many different media at large scale. But, the part that I enjoy the most is the process. I must collaborate with a lot of people, sometimes hundreds, from the design to the installation. It is a challenge all the time. I have to meet the expectations within the constrictions of a budget and a timeline. I have to keep the level of engagement of each of the volunteers throughout the process, and when we are talking about 300 second graders building a 20'x6' 1000 pound glass mosaic, well... things get a bit crazy.

Drawings and Studies

These are a collection of drawings and studies that I do before embarking on a new series of paintings. These drawings as well as short writing exercises are my ways to focus on themes and future paintings. Some of them become paintings and some don't, but they are unique on their own as a finished work.


Sculpture and Prints

 Some of my friends look at a white canvas and come up with incredible paintings. I sketch and study an idea in many different media many times before I commit to create a final piece. Many of this studies never become a larger piece, but each of those ideas is worth exploring. In the process, I create a lot of bi-products such as color studies, drawings, prints and small ceramic sculptures. I finish each small study as if it were working on the final piece itself. These are some of them.


Illustrations

 From 2000 to 2005, I worked as the Educational Program Assistant Director at a non-profit in Cleveland: ParkWorks. While I was there, I had the oppourtunity to create, illustrate and publish several teacher activity guides and children books. I have also illustrated and published books for other authors.


Writings on the Wall

Before I am going to embark in or return to a series of paintings, I write some poetry to put myself in the mood of the series. They are not descriptions or explanations of the visual artwork but background music to make me focus on a theme. Some years ago, a gallery owner suggested to show the pieces of literature next to the paintings to bring the audience to the same place I was when I was creating the art, and it worked so well that many gallery patrons asked for copies of the poems.  



AUGUSTO FINE ART // Studio Address: 505 Front Street, Berea, Ohio 44017, USA  // (216) 548 9798

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