Gustavo Oviedo’s solo exhibition “Nothing Goes to Waste” at the Art Center South Florida explores Miami and its environment through a variety of media, ranging from photography to video, installation and sculpture, often incorporating found objects.
Oviedo collects what he finds in the ocean and along the shores of Miami and re-uses remnants from previous works to create art that is deeply connected to his environment. The culture of South Florida as well as the landscape and the ocean are central to his art, providing him with endless materials and inspiration, whether conceptually or aesthetically.
The works in “Nothing Goes to Waste” appear to be almost dividable into two inter-connected categories. First, Oviedo’s brightly colored shapes that adorn the walls as well as record sleeves, inspired by the artist’s experiences painting murals all over the city. Through the color and shapes Oviedo intends to attract the viewer’s eye and “evoke a sense of movement and coexistence.” The shapes reference microscopic organisms and their organic evolvement, which the artist wants to recreate through his choices, allowing the mural to grow older with every choice and every addition.
Explains Oviedo: “The mural serves as a depiction of the marine outings, and a sort of tribute to what I have seen underwater and on the deserted islands. I then ad my subconscious fantasies to enhance those realities.” He adds, “Once the show closes, I will take down the vinyl used for the mural and use it as material for a sculpture that I will create in the gallery. This is done as a reminder that the mural happened and to emulate how things change overtime, an idea that is repeated in different ways throughout the show.
The second category is comprised of works directly connected to the ocean and the artist’s boating excursions. Whether through photography or assemblage, the context within which those works operate is steadily anchored in Miami. Sculptures made of broken glass bottles swept ashore by the Atlantic waves or found by the artist on his scuba and snorkeling trips, as well as buoys retrieved from mangroves and arranged to cascade from the ceiling in a site-specific installation, explore Miamians relationship with the ocean and the profound impact of Miami’s land and seascape on the culture, lifestyle and identity of its people.
The buoys, “sculpted by the elements in the marine environment," in a way perfectly summarize Oviedo’s artistic approach and process as they translate his experiences into art and conceptually connect the artist, his process, and subject matter with the gallery space. Within the context of fine art and presented in the gallery, the installation, entitled “Low Tide Shopping,” reclaims the found objects as art, as Oviedo does with many of his other art works, sometimes in the original state and sometimes altered beyond recognition.
Oviedo’s art represents a continuity afforded via the thematical and process connection between the works. He often creates more than one work of art out of the same material as he videotapes his sculptural process to create video installations that offer a different interpretation of the same subject matter.
Oviedo, a self-proclaimed accidental environmentalist, recycles and repurposes trash and treasures to create fine art. His vision for the environment he inhabits, and with which he is so closely connected, takes his art beyond existing as a reaction to his surroundings. Rather, he presents interactive works that create a dialogue on notions of home, identity, and life in South Florida. Additionally, the works may even start important conversations about environmental issues.
The exhibit is on display through August 24, 2014 at Art Center South Florida, 924 Lincoln Road, Miami.