Duval-Carrie's new Miami solo exhibition explores the history of slavery in Miami and Haiti
MiamiHerald / Without taking a knee or raising a fist, Miami-based artist Edouard Duval-Carrié highlights unsettled issues that arise from slavery in his native Haiti as well as his adopted United States. The message unfolds at the entrance to his latest show at the Museum of Contemporary Art - North Miami. An attractive painting of a woman who seemingly transforms into a tree is set against a backdrop of cottonball clouds and pastel blue skies. But upon closer inspection, all is not sweetness and light.

"The problems stemming from slavery never have been fully addressed in this country," Duval-Carrié says, pointing out the shackles attached to the woman’s right ankle. It is staked to a map of the United States, which in its founding days benefitted from an economy based on slave labor. The painting, titled "Of Cotton, Gunboats and Petticoats," sets the tone for his "Metamorphosis" exhibition that runs through November 5.

Not only does the woman in the turquoise dress and crinoline petticoat morph into a cotton tree, but also the artist morphs Haiti’s slave history on the sugar plantations with the role cotton played in the United States. That layering of meaning, a duality between apparent dreaminess and stark reality, permeates the exhibition as Duval-Carrié expertly uses color and light to retell a dark tale. The image looks sweet, he says – "Until you decode it."



Edouart Duval-Carrié’s seemingly sweet "Of Cotton Gunboats and Petticoats" includes a darker message: the reality of slavery. Duval-Carrie's new Miami solo exhibition explores the history of slavery in Miami and Haiti

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