With his solo exhibition “Symbiotic Promise” at the Swenson Gallery of the Bakehouse Art Complex, Ernesto Kunde presents a series of large scale acrylic paintings exploring the local South Florida flora and humanity’s relationship with nature.The Brazilian-born and Miami-based artist has found inspiration in the architecture, energy, lifestyle, art and natural beauty of Miami since he relocated to the city in 2007. Ever since, he has paid homage to the city he now calls home. His distinctly Miami- inspired paintings include highway and road signage, landmarks like the Freedom Tower and Wynwood, as well as a color palette inspired by Art Deco and Miami sunsets.
Kunde paints using reference photos; the photography is part of his work process. Recent photographs included mangroves and root systems taken on his frequent trips exploring his surroundings, such as the Everglades, the Florida Keys and the Oleta River. After his first initial foray into painting mangroves, Kunde became increasingly interested in exploring the subject further.Raised on a farm, Kunde has always had a bond with the land he inhabits and an especially keen interest in the structures of roots. Painting roots allowed Kunde to delve further into a thought process about plants, their roots, the continuity of life, humanity’s changing relationship with nature and the impact of those changes on the future. The paintings in “Symbiotic Promise” invite viewers into a dialogue on that symbiotic relationship between humanity and nature. Ananda DeMello’s curatorial approach has taken Kunde’s examinations a step further by presenting the paintings as a dense, layered, sculptural installation. The space DeMello creates is designed to heighten awareness of our surroundings and transport the viewer into an artistic version of a sensory nature experience surrounded by mangroves, sea grapes, roots and trees.
Kunde’s new works, including his first site-specific installation using painting and projection, are also an exploration of artistic practice. As Kunde incorporates the use of new mediums, pushes his boundaries and allows his paintings to evolve he examines his approach to art and his role as an artist.With “Symbiotic Promise,“ Ernesto Kunde presents his richly colored interpretation of the natural beauty of South Florida and reminds us of the promise we each need to make to care for the natural surroundings that are vital to our survival.
“Symbiotic Promise” will run from May 9 to June 8, 2014 at the Swenson Gallery at the Bakehouse Art Complex, 561 NW 32nd Street, Miami 33127