I'm actually nervous about sharing this with you. It's a look at my new series and works in progress, "Urbetivism". For a while I've been struggling with saying things through my art that I've realized will only be said by breaking from abstraction. zfmq_DSC0011--1.jpg Though I have kept a record of this in the form of studies on paper, I have reached a point where I can no longer ignore this or put away-after each minor attempt.  I've decided it is time I took a break from everything else, and once and for all explored this new way of working, on canvas and with the subjects at hand. zfmq_DSC0043--1.jpgI need to see where it takes me. As you know, the representational has been surfacing in my art for a while, but I think it now needs to lead. I'm calling the series "Urbetivism" or "Urbetivismo" in Spanish, for it's references to Nicaraguan Primitivism fused with my urban style and influences. It's not a definite departure from painting abstraction I don't think. But I have to trust the muse. I'll be sharing some of the studies and works in progress and I do plan on showing some at my upcoming open studio this summer. I am nervously psyched. zfmq_20180430Copy--1.png   COMMON VIEWS
Maggi Peyton Art Gallery at the Borough President of Manhattan's Office May 3rd - May 30th, 2018
Opening Reception:
Thursday May 3rd / 6:00 - 8:00 pm  

Daniel Hauben Dolores Fultado Franck de las Mercedes Frank Guiller Linda Cunningham
Nelson Álvarez Valeri Larko
Curator: Alexis Mendoza

Maggi Peyton Art Gallery
Office of Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer
David Dinkins Municipal Building
1 Centre Street, 19th Floor South
New York, NY 10007

The documentation of city changes and the domestic life has always fascinated artists for generations in the past. From the moment cities start shaping artists often depicted the physical and social realities, as well as the potential emotional disconnect, that can accompany urban density. In recent decades, artistic focus shifted to the ramifications of climate change, localism, relocation and globalization. The exhibition explores our city, New York’s urban representations
“Common Views”, encourage audiences to think about urbanism in a larger context and coincides with collective efforts to enliven and transform our way of living. These efforts and research stand at the center of “Common Views”, an exhibition that brings together artists/New Yorkers from a variety of disciplines and had seen all the transformations. Nelson Álvarez,Franck de las Mercedes, Linda Cunningham, Daniel Hauben, Valeri Larko, Frank Guiller and Dolores Fultado attempt to
decodifide the architectural point of view and the visuality it produces by manipulating the social images and creating new mapping systems in a search for civilian-oriented visual and political imagery. The exhibition explores the new visual strategies generated by the view the city, any city from inside, from above and from within. It underscores the empowering potential of civilian action while questioning the very notion of “democratization.” The exhibition offers alternative strategies for engaging with and obtaining information about local socio-political distribution and the varies ways in the witch the city is changing.
    THE ANNUAL SPRING STUDIO SALE CONTINUES! Each year selected studies from the FdlM artchive are made available for all to collect.
From various series, one of a kind / Certificate of Authenticity will be included.
Works on paper are a terrific entry point for new collectors and patrons looking to add to their collection S&H included in price. Go get 'em!
Enter code: JUS4U to get $10.00 off   zfmq_Screenshot4--1.png   Until next time. Thank you for staying in touch!


Sharing some images of the installation of my portraits of Francisco de Quevedo exhibited in Spain's Museo Municipal - Ayuntamiento de Puertollano.  Exposición “EL HUMOR EN QUEVEDO” 2018







Sometime mid-last year I started practicing secular meditation. I made no promises, but I said I would start with 3 minutes and do my best to stick to it. To my surprise, it has become a daily practice of 10-20 minutes a day, that has enriched my life tremendously and even influenced my art. I have developed this sort of ritual in which I write down all the clutter that’s on my mind on a sheet of paper. After meditation I then write a letter to myself, which I put away and don’t read until days later, when I come across it again. I thought this one was quite encouraging and felt this desire to share with you:

 

Dear Franck,


   Be your beingness. Not just a body-mind, but a limitless spirit going through this realm having experiences and releasing the ideals and belief-systems imposed upon you without your consent. Looking for purpose does not always mean moving forward. Searching can also mean being stuck in one place looking for something that can only be found by starting the journey.

  Employ the past, take what you need from it to grow and create, but don't dwell there. If you want change, be the change, and things will change for you and around you. You'll find that in some cases the only thing that needed to change was your perception. Life and the universe are constant change and motion. Change is the only law in the universe and not accepting that is the reason the world is always in such chaos.

  Each day is an opportunity to live, start and create. There's no perfect way to live. If you wish you had a perfect life, you're not living, you're comparing. Your beingness, your life, your journey are unique; just as each being around you and their experiences are unique. You can share your journey, but It's not your job to make them see what you see. You can share your journey, but never attempt to control people's experience on this earth. I will bring you misery.
   If you lack something, give something. But learn to give something you still consider of value and that you'd still use. Expect nothing in return and expect nothing from anybody at all. That way the surprises will be boundless. Let the God of your heart reveal what/who/if he or she is each day. You can't deny air exists just because you don't see it. You breathe. But don't make a false evil idea of anything, based on those who claim to see, know, follow and worship.

  Not everyone is willing and open to look into their own souls, because it means change and taking action. So they project fear and harsh belief, in the name of an authority figure to feel better by controlling other people's experience. It's their experience and journey, not yours. Whatever god is, you'll discover it can't be contained to/by one idea, building or group. It is limitless, constant movement. Not just one spirit in a specific place. Not everything in life is an epiphany. If you're having a bad day, it's probably because you're still human. So be really kind and tender to yourself and others in that moment. Be your beingness. You f^ck up, you learn. Let it go.
   The only mantra you'll ever need is "I love myself" repeat it constantly. It's not selfish. The instrument must be in tune before it can play for others. The more in tune the instrument, the better the tune. The better you are, the better those around you will be.

 


Spiritual Contrast - 2018  Acrylic on canvas 18" x 30"




Me and my new series of works on paper have been featured in the new issua of Inex
Inex magazine is the ultimate specification resource for design professionals working in both the domestic and commercial marketplaces.
Exclusive, cutting-edge content is delivered to inform and inspire esteemed professionals on a whole host of topics and discussions impacting the industry.
Be sure to enjoy the series.





I am humbled and honored that my #BLOT women have been featured in BroadwayWorld
in celebration of Women's History Month.



Cuban-born and Bronx resident Alexis Mendoza is an interdisciplinary artist, independent curator, and author. He has organized unprecedented exhibits, introducing and championing  some of the most exciting voices from NYC communities often marginalized or ignored by the mainstream.  Alexis is a true maverick and a force to be reckoned with in contemporary art.


How do you describe your latest series of paintings?

My series of paintings is titled “Ilé Ife”, according to Yoruba tradition and the Lukumí language a big house, a vast land, is also the name of the land where the first man and the first human community were created, the cradle of humanity, the first dwelling of Orunmilá on earth, before moving his residence to Ado, and name of the land and of the empire that was manifested therein, located in the territory of present-day Nigeria. The color, as it turned out, is the matrix of memory, and within it, the images surface, utopias and its denials. 

By radicalizing the object representation, presence lets us grasp time. I register this knowledge by depicting the mutual invasion of color and representation, in some sense have nothing to do with the way color behaves or represent itself in the shared world of experience.

 

Can you tell me about the use of the black line?

The black line is an element, a tool that I have been using for the last 20 years it’s a physical representation of what is call in the Briyumba Palo Monte religion, Rallado (Scratch). Every Initiated individual is scratch in various part of the body, sometimes with a blade and sometimes with a black charcoal. This method gives me the answer of one of the elements I was missing in my creative process.

As a result, I let color, hard dark lines, distance, desire the locus of the image and volume do the explanation, all these characteristics come together simultaneously, equally, and in terms of each other. 



Who are your influences in both writing and painting?

Black Painting is the style and philosophy that I employ in my painting. The term was established in Cuba in the 1950’s by Guido Llinas, a prominent Cuban abstract painter, printmaker and member of the Eleven Group. A general characteristic of my Black Painting is the use of three predominant colors with emblematic function, as in Abakua drawing, where yellow signifies “life”, white “death”; or as in Santeria, where every Orisha is defined by a color. The work and techniques employed by Manuel Mendive, Jose Bedia, Flavio Garciandia, Mark Rorthko, Jackson Pollock, and Willen de Kooning are all strong influences on my work. I also use the literary work of anthropologist’s Cuban writers and ethnographers such as Fernando Ortiz, Lidia Cabrera and Alejo Carpentier as an inspiration in my paintings, sculptures, installations and more important for my writing.

 

How do you divide your time curating, writing and painting? Is it scheduled or intuitive?

I must confess, I enjoy very much the balance that all of these activities create in my life; they complement each other. I use the investigation part of the curatorial ideas to find meaning and purpose in my personal work. This dynamic is a part of my life; long ago I made a conscious decision that being involved in many projects is what I want to do and so far, it is working out

 

What sets an artist who curates apart from curators?

The artist who curates is an artist who is also an art historian, he finds answers in other artist’s work to all questions that keep coming to his head as an artist, as a curator and as a person. I am an artist, I am a curator, I know for sure that I am not going to stop presenting the ideas to audience, discuss my findings, listen to other options. It’s an ongoing exploration to have a better understanding of what we do and why we do it. By doing that we educating others.

 

What is "Relocated “and what do you hope to it will bring to viewers?

The exhibition "Relocated: Contemporary Cuban Art", reveals the artistic panorama developed by Cuban artists living outside Cuba over the last fifteen years to the present days. Far from being the result of a representative selection of current Cuban art, the exhibition aims to expose the fabric of artistic discourse that remains in this country beyond the exoticism shown so often by European and American centralism. The show explores the echoes and the subtle relationships that are established between works that are sometimes critical, and always fascinating. It has been a long time discussion about the erroneous statement, “Cuban artists working outside Cuba, their creations for some art organizations, galleries and institutions in the United States are not considered Cuban art”. With this exhibition we are sending a clear message, “We are Cuban artists”. The focus of attention is centered on artists from different generations. Many of the works selected have in common the fact of working with different levels of meaning at the same time and show in parallel a special taste for the common, the popular and the everyday, aspects that are conferred poetic status and a strange and attractive beauty. The works comprise a broad spectrum of interests, although their diversity does not prevent the interaction between all of them. Hope the audience Cuban or not can see themselves reflected in some of the artworks in the show, the issues aboard in the show affect all us, issues such as, social understanding, political awareness, migration and exile.

 
 

In your opinion, what's shifting for independent artist and curators in relation to the art-world? Do you see progress?

I don’t know if there is progress, progress can be relative to each individual or a specific institution. What I see is an evolution, the institutions or the art-world are taking independent artists and curators a little more serious, there’s still a long way to go don’t get me wrong, but now independent projects are being approved by the institutions, artists and curators in the independent field are proving themselves to a level that now we start seeing a bridge, years ago wasn’t even a possibility of communication. The reality is that we have to keep trying, we have to continue creating projects, proving ourselves that we have what it takes to educate at the same standards of these institutions that control the art-world.



 To find out more about Alexis works and curatorial projects. Visit:

 

Alexis Mendoza Curatorial Projects
http://artcurated.blogspot.com/

 


BLOT has been featured in Artsy and selected works are hitting the road as a traveling exhibit in Nicaragua under it's new name "Manchas Literatas."  Curated by DAM, the series includes Nicaraguan greats such as Gioconda Belli, Ruben Dario and Warhol muse Bianca Jagger; as well as personal favorites like Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson. Selected print versions of works on view are also available at the Artefacts online gallery.
"Drawing from Ruben Dario and other great literary masters, de las Mercedes in his Blot series, like Dario encourages Modernism, but in an unique sense in that this is Modernism in 2018, and where de las Mercedes is not reacting to 19th century post Colonialism, he is reacting to his own transplanted life, and what one can label as an Urban Modernism of the displaced.  " --The Directed Art Modern   zfmq_FranckdelasMercedesPoetryFestival20   What else is new at the FdlM Studio FRANCKLORE: A digitally created visual memoir of a childhood in Nicaragua, re-shaped by an American upbringing.   zfmq_20180301.png   IN THE STUDIO:   zfmq_DSC0005edited1.jpg   FDLM IN SUPPORT OF SURGEONS OF HOPE:
   zfmq_20180129.png zfmq_201803011.png As always, many thanks for your continued support!


Otro fragmento del video-diario. Memorias de mi niñez in Nicaragua.