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Ask a ¡NUEVOlution! Artist | Stanley Bermudez
We continue our introduction the artists who have contributed works of art to ¡NUEVOlution! These talented artists represent the NUEVO South, as well as Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and many other countries. Their work expresses their experiences, stories and inspirations, from their home countries to their new homes in the South.
¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South is on display now and includes complementary programming throughout its 13-month duration. You can see a list of all our programs on the Museum calendar.
Meet ¡NUEVOlution! Artist: Stanley Bermudez
You come from a family of artists. How is your artwork different than other members of your family?
My mother paints mostly landscapes and still-life using oils on canvas and local colors. In more recent years, she has also created small boxes using religious icons in a mixed media technique. My younger sister studied graphic design and today does mostly representational watercolor paintings. My older sister also studied graphic design and she also does representational work in a variety of mediums (watercolor, oils, and acrylics). I think one main difference in my work is that for the last 15 years I have been creating a lot of socio-political artwork. My artwork also has a Pop Art quality to it and uses mostly arbitrary vibrant colors. I mainly work with acrylics on canvas.
What are some of the general themes of your artwork?
I have four distinctive themes in my work. The first one is, portraits of people in popular culture in Latina America; as well as America. The second one is images of family members; I am currently starting a new series of large format paintings of family members. The third theme is socio-political paintings using a variety of flags to express my opinions about immigration, racism, discrimination, politics, dictatorships, etc. The last theme is nonrepresentational paintings using line, color, and texture.
Do you have a favorite piece of work and why?
I like the work of Carlos Solis and Pedro Fuertes, who are members of Contrapunto (Latino Artist Group). I really love and admire the work of Chuck Close, Jacob Lawrence, Carlos Cruz-Diez, and Jesus Soto. The last four artists created and still create work that is beautiful to me, of very high quality. I also admire that they all dedicated their life to what they love to do. If you are asking about a favorite work of mine, it is usually the most recent work I have completed. At this time I have to say is a portrait of my mom called Santuario and a portrait of my dad titled Armando J. Bermudez Romero. They are part of my most recent series of paintings.
What is Contrapunto and how did you become involved?
Contrapunto is a Latino artist group that started in Georgia and was founded by Venezuelan surrealist painter Carlos Solis. The main goal of the group is to expose Georgians to the work of contemporary Latino artists. I became involve when Solis found my name in a website of Venezuelan artists working and living in the USA (Georgia) and contacted me. Not long after that he created the group, which today has as its members two Peruvian artists, Pedro Fuertes and Dora Lopez, Mexican painter Jorge Lopez, Carlos Solis, and myself.
What have you learned from working with Contrapunto? Why do you think it’s important to work with different artists?
As an artist I spend a lot of time working by myself, I also have obligations as a father and as an art instructor so Contrapunto is a good way to spend time with other artists, exhibit together, socialize, discus art issues, etc. We do not do collaborative work, but we do exhibit together and support each other, and help each other when necessary. We find venues for our work and share opportunities with each other.
What can visitors expect from your artwork in NUEVOlution?
I am not sure what to expect myself because this is a collaborative piece with furniture maker Steve Terry. I do not do collaborative work that often. Mr. Terry used one of my paintings to make furniture and from what I could see from images send to me by the museum they came out great. I am excited about the pieces and cannot wait to see them in person; I am also very excited about the whole exhibition because of the theme. Being a Latino artist working and living in the United States it makes me feel great when exhibitions like this focus on the work of Latino artists. I know it is going to be a wonderful exhibition.
About Stanley Bermudez
At the age of sixteen-months, New Orleans-born Stanley Bermudez moved to his parents’ home country of Venezuela. Even as a child, Bermudez demonstrated the ability to draw, model and paint. After finishing high school in 1983, Bermudez moved back to the States to attend North Harris College (now Lone Star College) in Houston, Texas. With the encouragement of a college advisor, Bermudez transferred to Sam Houston State University and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art. In May of 2000, he received a Master of Fine Arts from Radford University.
A current resident of Athens, Georgia, Bermudez maintains a studio inside and outside of his home. He is also an art instructor at the University of Georgia, Georgia College and State University. Bermudez is also a full-time art lecturer at the University of North Georgia; while also exhibiting his artwork nationally.
His series “Banderas,” is a large format series of paintings that deal with the symbolism found in different local, national and international flags (American, Mexican, Venezuelan, etc). The images deal with sociopolitical issues and are meant to create discussion and provoke questions. The purpose of the “Banderas” series, besides his personal artistic expressions, is to make people think about issues related to diversity, racism, political power, and abuse of power, human rights, immigration and more. www.stanleybermudez.com.
Be sure to check back each week for new stories and insights on ¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South.