In life and in art, the personal is often universal. A memory so specific to one often resonates with countless others. Most everyone can see a piece in themselves when others share their own cherished history.
Perhaps that’s why Mark Fleuridor’s work has captivated so many, from the institutional curators who decide which pieces to display for the public, to the everyday viewer who feels a connection to the work. Fleuridor’s mixed media works – a highly personal meditation on growing up in Miami among his extended Haitian family – are now on view in Sunshine, a solo exhibition of roughly 24 works presented within the YoungArts Gallery at 2100 Biscayne Blvd. As a 2015 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts and a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, the show is a sort of homecoming for the artist, and an important opportunity given its ongoing display during Miami Art Week.
According to YoungArts Artistic Director Lauren Snelling, moving away from presenting a group exhibition during Miami Art Week and toward showcasing the work of one exceptional artist “is a conscious shift we have made to better serve emerging artists.”
Curated by YoungArts Associate Curator Luisa Múnera and Derrick Adams – YoungArts trustee and guest artist, and fittingly, Fleuridor’s first-ever collector – Sunshine is a broad survey of how Fleuridor’s work has evolved since he was first identified as a compelling visual artist when he was a high school senior. Fleuridor excavates old family photographs that he arranges over warm, natural backdrops of tropical plant life, in various stages of bloom. By conflating generations of family moments with nature’s generative cycle of life and death, he creates a beautiful portrait of the most essential fabric of life. Working with textiles and collage to make quilts and mixed media incorporating colorful inks, archival glue and vibrant abstract backdrops, Fleuridor’s pieces are an homage to home.
For Fleuridor, it was an honor to work with both Múnera and Adams, who “has supported my career ever since I was in high school,” when they first met through YoungArts. The show was a smooth collaboration between the three, selecting works and conceptualizing their display as a team. The process of selecting works for the show was akin to how Fleuridor prefers to make his work: “I like mediums that allow me the freedom to work,” he says. “Quilting and collage allow me to rip something out and cover it up if I change my mind.”
Earlier works in the show feature much of his quilt-making practice, with works like All of Us (2020) showcasing a family portrait and the Haitian flag against a vibrant backdrop of coral and red. In Adventures of Mako 2 (2020), Fleuridor is beginning to play with the elements of collage that feature more prominently in his work by juxtaposing various objects and figures around one another. In later works like A Sunny Mother’s Day (2022) or Take Care (2022), Fleuridor begins using collage to lean further into abstraction, using repetition in his patterns to give the works form.
Sunshine honors Fleuridor’s family with a poetic study of life’s seasons, and centers what’s most important – our families, our memories, and the moments that just won’t fade.
Sunshine featuring works by Mark Fleuridor is on view at the YoungArts Gallery September 29-December 10, 2022. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 2-6 PM, Thursday 2-8 PM, or by appointment: email firstname.lastname@example.org. During Miami Art Week, Sunshine is open November 28–December 3 from 10 AM–6 PM.
About the Author:
Nicole Martinez is a cultural producer, writer and editor based in Miami. She is the associate director at Fountainhead Arts, an artist residency dedicated to elevating and supporting artist voices. Her writing has appeared in Cultured, Hyperallergic, Art Newspaper, Artsy, and others.
Follow her on Instagram: @niki_frsh