Carlos Betancourt: Imperfect Utopia

by Paul Laster (Author), Robert Farris Thompson (Author), Petra Mason (Editor)
Paul Laster, Robert Farris Thompson, 2015
Hardcover 238 pages
Publisher: Skira Rizzoli
ISBN: 978-0847846474
Dimensions: 10.4x1.12.3
$53.74

Mixed-media artist Carlos Betancourt and his influential studio, Imperfect Utopia, helped to launch the Miami art scene in the 1980’s. Betancourt’s oeuvre is a lush explosion of radiant, eccentric colors in which he explores the kaleidoscope (multi-racial, multi-lingual, trans-cultural) of Caribbean and American culture. His work alludes to issues of memory, beauty, identity, and communication.  He bends the lines between art, photography, and nature in his photographs, collages, painting, installations, and conceptual pieces. 


Carlos Betancourt’s imagery reinterprets the past and present and offers it in a fresh context. He is inspired by Puerto Rico, Miami, and his extensive travels; also artist Ana Mendieta’s interventions in nature, Robert Rauschenberg’s assemblages, Andy Warhol’s perceptions, Neo Rauch compositions, and a Federico Fellini-esque cast of characters for his photo assemblages. 


This exuberant volume explores Betancourt’s body of work, with more than 250 images and texts by art critic Paul Laster, art history professor Robert Farris Thompson and United States Inaugural Poet, Richard Blanco. 

His artwork is included in the permanent collections of various museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Portrait Gallery, and The Smithsonian Institute.