Sculptor, installation artist, videographer, and photographer Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons says that through her artwork she aims to forge “historical narratives that illuminate the spirit of people and places, past and present.” Often addressing the national history of her native Cuba, the artist also explores themes of cultural resilience and cross-cultural identity. This piece investigates her feelings of desperation and impotence in response to the Iraq War and the state of world. Campos-Pons has exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, MoAD San Francisco, and at the Cuban Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, among other institutions.
Image rights: Courtesy of the artist and Gasp Arts
About Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons
Sculptor, installation artist, videographer, and photographer Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons says that she aims to forge “historical narratives that illuminate the spirit of people and places, past and present” through her artwork. She is best known for her large-format Polaroids, such as Constellation (2004), a grid of photographs in which the artist’s body is symbolized by abstract, painterly compositions of dreadlocks, which reference her African roots. Campos-Pons’ Sugar / Bittersweet (2010) installation fashions a microcosmic sugar trade in which columns of raw sugar stand in for sugar cane fields, cast glass forms pierced by African spears reference slaves, and roped Chinese weights allude to post-harvest weighing and Chinese indentured laborers in Cuba. Sugar / Bittersweet, while addressing Cuba’s national history, cultural resilience, and cross-cultural identity, parallels Campos-Pons’ personal story, exiled identity living in Boston, and the Afro-Cuban diaspora.
Cuban, b. 1959, Matanzas, Cuba, based in Nashville, TN, USA