Imlay Gallery is pleased to present Ibrahim Miranda: Insular Nights, Invisible Gardens. This show features four recent works from this Internationally recognized Cuban painter and printmaker.
Miranda paints on pieced-together Cuban maps, which he then transforms into narratives. He inhabits these maps with mythical creatures and symbolic references to life on his beloved and mysterious island, an island whose people are possessed by an ideology of Revolution dating back to the 1950's, and whose citizens struggle daily between the love for that ideology and the loss of freedoms that living in Cuba entails.
His choice of unconventional painting materials lends to the symbolic language of the interior landscape of both the artist and the island. Miranda often paints with Mercurochrome, an orange antiseptic wash used for healing open wounds. When applied to the maps it takes on an iridescent coppery hue, obscuring the Cuba that lies beneath and creating a glimmering, hauntingly beautiful metaphor of life in the balance.
The series titled, “Insular Night, Invisible Gardens” was inspired by a poem of the same title written by the Cuban poet Jose Lezama Lima, depicting the Island as an enchanted place in a state of infinite metamorphoses. In the spirit of poetry and myth, the artist reinterprets the topic of insularity by emphasizing conditions of instability and vulnerability as markers of Cuba’s geographic location. Miranda’s colorful maps evoke the process of searching and inform us that “we inhabit a structurally insecure, provisional territory in constant metamorphoses” which isn’t as dogmatic as scientific cartography has shown us. The constant rearrangement of the maps is a way of erasing false totalities or ideologies. By transgressing their accuracy, he is able to discover figurative shapes in the solid structures of the cities and “turn the outline of Cuba into a small invertebrate animal.”