It was a tremendous pleasure to frame the art of stellar Cuban artist José Bedia! The work came to us courtesy of Lyle O. Reitzel Gallery, a leading contemporary art gallery in Santa Domingo, and now here on the Lower East Side. The work on paper titled, Tocado desde el Principio, immediately suggested to us using one of our new riveted steel moldings. We choose a brushed darker metal highlighted by a rust color interior to complement the black, gray, and umber details in this exquisite aquatint. We floated the artwork using archival rice paste and Japanese paper hinges then protected it behind Optium Museum Acrylic. This museum grade glazing offers 99% UV protection along with a crystal clear glare resistant surface.
Jose Bedia's print finished in its new steel frame with rivet details.
Collectors often bring us art from Cuba to frame, but this one was particularly special. Bedia is one of Cuba’s brightest art stars. An internationally known figure, Bedia has had work in the Havana and Venice Biennales, solo shows in venues like the Fowler Museum in Los Angles and he is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship among other honors. Bedia’s style can be defined as Neo-Primitive and figurative. He is an accomplished draftsman who excelled in drawing, illustration, and comics as a student. Bedia is passionately interested in Native American culture and Afro-Transatlantic cultures. He also draws significant inspiration from “… his Santeria faith, an amalgamation of Yoruba, indigenous, and Christian beliefs, with his works frequently depicting mythical elements, altars, and other sacramental imagery, often serving as a pointed critique of colonialism”. * His work is represented in many notable collections including MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Guggenheim, Tate Modern, and the Smithsonian among others.
Team member Stascia carefully applying the paper hinges to secure the art.
Truly special art offers us the opportunity create truly special custom frame designs. Apart from exquisite metal frames like this one we offer fully customizable options that include hand painting, hand carving, gilding and hot contemporary looks in acrylics and colors. Please stop by and visit us in either our Lower East Side or Brooklyn locations and see what we can create for your special project.
Close up showing details of the frame and floated artwork.
Frames and Stretchers has been enjoying the pleasure of stretching and framing a number of works by artists who are represented by Bryant Toth Fine Art, a Manhattan gallery specializing in Cuban art. Among the recent works is this dream-like composition by painter Jesus Nodarse, featuring a mysterious interaction between a woman and jester.
Stascia in the studio with Jesus Nodarse's stretched painting
This work is typically representative of the artist’s oeuvre. His paintings are populated by female figures who are often naked, and numerous characters such as fishermen or mythological creatures like the Minotaur or mermaids. In describing his work Nodarse says, “As a Cuban painter, I'm inspired by the real woman, the woman that suffers and is happy at the same time. The woman that fights during the day and is a peacemaker during the night.” * He describes the women and the characters around them as coming from both his reality and his fantasy life.
Detail of the work we stretched and another of Nodarse's paintings (image courtesy of Bryant Toth Fine Art)
Nodarse is a native of Sagua la Grande and lives and works in Old Havana. He studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts, San Alejandro and graduated in 1996. After graduating he became a professor at the National Academy. He has exhibited in Chicago, Berlin, Kuala Lumpur, and Beirut where he spent two years working full time for a gallery in Lebanon. He is fortunate to be supported by renowned Cuban Art collectors in places like Tennessee, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Dallas.
Jesus Nodarse at work in his studio in Cuba (photo credit, Juventude Rebelde)
Frames and Stretchers has an ongoing relationship with Bryant Toth and we are so pleased to have the opportunity to experience the work of many artists who might otherwise remain isolated in their country. Toth has a real passion for Cuba and it’s culture stemming from his first visit to the country. He explains, “The nation’s isolation from many of its neighbors has fueled Cubans’ need for developing a strong self-identity.” *
Check back here to see more work from Toth’s line up of exceptional talent.
Luis Cruz Azaceta is a Cuban visual artist with a diverse career spanning over 40 years. He fearlessly experiments with his art, often working on several series at a time. Besides experimentation, change is another theme that is prevalent throughout his work. Recently, we had the pleasure of stretching Azaceta’s canvases for his upcoming solo show at the Lyle O’Reitzel Gallery in the Lower East Side. This will be his first solo show in New York in five years.
Erick and Lyle O. Reitzel with a Luis Cruz Azaceta canvas before it is stretched.
Miguel and Alexis with the canvas after being stretched over its custom stretcher.
The concept behind this show is “Swimming to Havana”, an idea he conceptualized in 2009. Although he left Havana when he was 18 years old to live and work in the United States, Cuba has always been on his mind. A subject that has consistently remained on the forefront of his art is the Balseros Cubanos. These balseros escaped their stringent political conditions by risking their life to leave for Florida. The idea of “Swimming to Havana” represents the unlikelihood of the idea for a Cuban-American. To properly showcase his art, we built custom heavy duty stretchers and stretched the canvases for his large format pieces. We framed the smaller ones with our maple Rivington hardwood frames and floated the artwork using Japanese paper and wheat paste. With these archival methods, the buyers of Azaceta's pieces will be able to enjoy the art knowing that it has been custom framed to a museum standard.
A completed Azaceta piece custom framed using our Rivington hardwoods.
Azaceta’s work is often characterized by vivid colors and contrast as well as a deeper political message. He had his first solo show in 1975, and since then has covered a number of social themes including the AIDS epidemic, loneliness in urban environments, and the conditions of oppression caused by government policies. He currently lives and works in New Orleans, however he will be present at the opening of his solo show on November 5, at the Lyle O’Reitzel Gallery. Further information about Luis and his artwork can be found on his website, and for more details about the show check here.
Yvette with a completed Azaceta piece that was floated using Japanese paper and wheat paste.
We've seen the art of multiple celebrated Cuban artists at Frames and Stretchers this month. Hector Frank is one of those artists. In preparation for his show this Thursday at Bryant Toth Fine Art we want to highlight and share the works that we stretched for him.
Yvette with a Hector Frank canvas stretched over a heavy duty stretcher.
Hector Frank is a celebrated Cuban artist who began his career as an engineer before deciding to become an artist full time. It paid off for him. During his first solo show he sold out of all his pieces on the first day! His artwork is vibrant, colorful, and visually textured. Through his work he displays the liveliness of Cuban life. Currently, Frank lives and works in Havana and has an established following within the Havana creative scene as well as world wide. He has exhibited his work internationally in Mexico, Cuba, France, Belgium, Malaysia, and several times throughout the United States.
Yvette and Antonio with a stretched Hector Frank canvas.
Frank's work often includes outlines of human faces, acrylic on canvas or acrylic on wood. He is inspired by human behaviors and emotions. Through his artwork, he intends for his characters to capture the unspoken words, feelings and behaviors that are present in everyday interactions. For more information on Hector Frank's latest solo show, please check the Bryant Toth website.
A close up of Frank's intricate work.
It was 4:00 pm on Friday, September 18, 2015, when we received a call from a well known collector. He needed us to build a wood stretcher and to stretch the oil painting on canvas by the famous Cuban artist Roberto Fabelo that same day. And why not, to also build a maple wood frame to adorn the beautiful oil painting "El equilibrista en el pequeño teatro" that will be auctioned on the next Latin American Contemporary auction at Christie's.
We love those challenges and of course we said yes. The result was very nice and it work very well for the purpose of the presentation at the auction house. In the future, I hope that the new buyer bring it back to us, so we can put on a much heavier Baroque frame that the painting was screaming for. Just saying!! ;)
About the artist:
Roberto Fabelo (born 1951 Camagüey, Cuba) is a contemporary Cuban artist. He is both a painter and illustrator.
Born in Guáimaro, Camagüey, Fabelo studied at The National Art School and at the Superior Art Institute of Havana. He was a professor and a jury member for very important national and international visual arts contests. The Cuban state awarded him a medal for National Culture and the Alejo Carpentier medal for his outstanding artistic career. Fabelo's art consists of nude woman, who often appear with bird-like features, including a beak and wings. He drew in textbooks, and created figures out of the pictures already in the textbook. Another example of his art was water colored markers used to draw on silk embroidered fabric.
His work is exhibited at the Museo Nacionalde Bellas Artes in Havana, and in the Cuban embassy in Mexico. His 2009 sculpture of a group of human-headed cockroaches can be found climbing one of the walls of the Havana Fine Arts Museum, entitled Survival. He also illustrated a 2007 edition of Gabriel García Márquez's novel Cien años de soledad. He was described by the Dallas Morning News in 2002 as "one of Cuba's premier artists", with high demand for his paintings in the United States and elsewhere.