Under the ArtEd Connect Program

Carlos Enrique Prado's 'Stubborn' Unveiled at MoCAA

Simultaneously with the opening of "Converging Plateaus," the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Americas, in collaboration with the University of Miami and under the ArtEd Connect program, presents works by the renowned artist and ceramist Carlos Enrique Prado for the second time. Prado's work has been extensively exhibited in numerous exhibitions at the Fine Art Ceramic Center, both within the museum and at analogous institutions across many states in the Union.

Curated by Jorge Rodriguez Diez (R10)

June 14th -July 6th| 2024

Stubborn presents a collection of works inspired by classical statuary, particularly torsos and heads, transformed with the unexpected incorporation of industrial objects. Through this juxtaposition, the exhibition invites viewers to reconsider the legacy of Western values and our perceptions of various aspects of life. In contrast to his previous series, Prado intentionally relinquished total control over the creative process, allowing it to unfold with less restraint. Although he continues to draw inspiration from classical sculptures as his primary reference, this time he explores diverse associations that emerge organically during the act of creation. Overall, he perceives in this series a profound struggle to define his own identity. His education as a Western artist, deeply rooted in the traditions of classical Greco-Roman art and Catholic pictorial imagery, has always been a significant influence. While these elements have permeated his career, in 'Stubborn,' they converge, establishing a unique and uncanny dialogue.

Our cultural fascination with suffering, exemplified by the visual narratives of martyrdom in the Catholic tradition, plays a pivotal role in his work. He references the historical depictions of saints' martyrdom, yet the 'Stubborn' series captures a broader sense of enduring extreme suffering as a fundamental aspect of existence.

Raised in a Catholic environment, Prado subconsciously absorbed the belief in the redemptive power of suffering. This influence subtly permeates his artistic process, prompting him to engage with it on a visceral level. Each sculpture in this series embodies violent gestures that ultimately give rise to a new object, encapsulating the original form, the traces of suffering, and the implements of torture. These sculptures freeze moments of pain and anguish, mirroring the historical depictions of the Via Crucis and the martyrdom of saints.

Artist Statement

As an artist, I channel my creativity through the juxtaposition of recycled elements from art history that have played a crucial role in shaping Western cultural paradigms. These elements may include objects or motifs that have been represented in earlier works of art, or even specific modes of artistic representation themselves. By combining and recontextualizing these components, I initiate fresh dialogues concerning the prevailing legacy that has shaped the values in our culture. Additionally, I delve into the ongoing journey of my assimilation and resistance to inherited standards, offering a unique perspective shaped by my experiences as an immigrant.

My work revolves around recycling emblematic representations of the human figure in art, with a specific focus on the ancient Greco-Roman tradition, which has become part of the Western aesthetic paradigms. As a Cuban artist living in the USA, I often find myself viewed as "the other" by Western culture. However, I also see Western culture as "the other" in my own perspective. When I incorporate Western European influences into my work, I sometimes feel a sense of detachment that allows me to strip away their sacredness and impregnate them with new meanings in different contexts. In the current piece, Void, the multiple fragmented images of the Discobolus are turned Black, challenging the legacy of whiteness that has shaped the values in our culture.

I have expanded my efforts by integrating digital modeling and 3D clay printing techniques into my creative process. Computer modeling technology provides me with broader artistic possibilities, including the opportunity to incorporate and manipulate digital models made from original ancient works of art, the ability to design more complex compositions and assemblages, and the ability to preserve the integrity of the quoted references. However, since all my works also require the use of more traditional manual techniques, the digital component becomes another part of the artistic process.Overall, with my artwork I try to provoke critical reflection, inviting viewers to reconsider their perception of art as well as established social paradigms.

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