Intimate Spirit: collages and other artworks: solo exhibit The Gallery at The Betsy Hotel, MB, curated by Lesley Goldwasser
More than 20 intimate collages, never before exhibited.
INTIMATE SPIRIT: collages and other works is a rare view into the artist’s creative process, delivered in almost a dreamscape of thoughts and images through the artist personal collages. Bits and pieces of Betancourt’s world, his memories, his experiences, his past and future, unfold before the viewer, like a living fantasy. They float down gently as chapters in a story and create a uniquely personal narrative.
Exhibited publicly for the first time, these unique one-of-a-kind collages offer access to Betancourt’s free-flowing enthusiasm for life - and they are evidence of the authentic work that comes from an artist that has been truly set free to create. Betancourt believes that virtually everything comes to life through the embedded memories that live within.
In these collages, his frequent trips to Puerto Rico, Africa, Greece, and Mexico are weaved amongst rituals, parties, Morris Lapidus architecture, Puerto Rican fritters, (bacalaitos), as well as his favorite candies, Sweetarts, its wrapping included in some of the collages. All these become new symbols in Betancourt’s intimate and highly personal collages, all part of the same democracy. Memory is activated once again, ready to tell a new story in a new ceremony.
I was captivated when looking through Betancourt’s recent book Imperfect Utopia, (published by Skira/Rizzoli). I felt as if I had a photo album of the artist’s life in my hands. I was deeply moved by the intimate collages too, and struck that they had never been exhibited before. Crafted over a 30-year period, these intimate pieces are a literal and metaphoric archive of creative thoughts and life experiences that are ultimately woven into many of his larger iconic works, which are also part of this exhibit. It is his story - but it feels strangely like our own.
Curator Miami Art Week 2020
The Betsy Hotel
Betancourt’s artwork has been included in prominent art fairs and exhibited internationally. His work is part of the permanent collection of several institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Palm Springs Art Museum, New Orleans Art Museum, NSU Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art and the Bass Museum of Art.