From The Artists Studio
"Cutting edge art at the edge of the sea." That is how this year’s ARTSPLASH arts festival at the Rockaway Center for the Arts in Fort Tilden has been defined. A major reason for this description is DIGITALSPLASH, an exhibition of computer-generated artwork created by artists from all over the United States. DIGITALSPLASH is a featured part of ARTSPLASH. Each of the 15 artists participating in DIGITALSPLASH presents a fascinating and unique vision, utilizing the computer in a signature manner. Carmen Lizardo is from Kingston, New York. She was born in the Dominican Republic and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. Lizardo has exhibited internationally. Her work has appeared in catalogs and reviews and she has received various awards. "Self Portrait with Yellow Rope" and "In the Mirror" are digital prints and mixed media on canvas. They present haunting images. We present Carmen Lizardo’s artist statement, allowing her to speak directly about her art and herself.
"For several years, I have been working with images of the female body, in the search not for an answer, but for a question. I think I have found that question. At the beginning I found myself searching for the answer to the question: Where am I? I still don’t know where the answer may lead me, but it is this question that drives me, it is the question that is bringing me to a place of research that could be endless.
I was born 1970 in La Romana, a small town in the Dominican Republic. I have been living in New York for about 11 years.
I have come to the realization that I did not know where I was then, and I still don’t know where I am now.
What I do know is that today, I speak and write in broken Spanish and broken English; I feel caught in the middle of a frontier that I can only attempt to cross through art. I speak of this because I believe that these questions are born as a consequence of the duality of my background. The nature of digital technology and mixed media has provided me with a process and a place to consider and examine these ideas of ambiguity, belonging and Self. I work directly into a computer with a pressure sensitive pen and a digital camera, resulting in a combination of digital drawing and photography. I output onto heavy weight printmaking paper, transform with traditional mediums, scan again, alter the colors, play with push and pull by using sharpening and blur techniques and out put once more as large format prints on alternative surfaces. The final product is a merge between the physical world and digital work. Experimenting with different kinds of materials liberates from one specific process where I feel confined to a predetermined method. Instead the element of surprise is always available, turning art-making into a discovery experience, not only for ideas but also for technique.
When it comes to the content of my work, it doesn’t bother me to be classified as a "woman artist, with women’s issues" because I am a female artist with female issues. The mood of my artwork is sometimes violent and often sad, dealing with my associations to family, religion, and socio-identity.
I also hope that, directly or indirectly, my artwork serves to explore other realities. My greatest challenge is not necessarily to make art about being a Latin woman, as this will always be an intrinsic quality in it, but rather, to make art about being human, trying to find a universal language. These are the things that I would like to give to art; in exchange for the voice it gave me."
Carmen Lizardo’ art, as well as all of DIGITALSPLASH and ARTS PLASH, is on view at the Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA) in Fort Tilden through October 26. Gallery hours are Saturdays 12-5 PM, Sundays, 1-4 PM. Admission is free.
Seanchai and the Unity Squad is among the groups appearing on Band Night on October 11 at ARTSPLASH. More live performers appear the afternoons of October 18 and 19. More details next week.
Thanks to all who made the opening reception of ARTSPLASH such a success. Among them were performers Mary Kelly, Celeste Ray, Apryl Green and Joanne Marnick. They gave generously of their time to entertain a very appreciative audience.
Fast reminder: Esther Grillo mural, "Monarch Landscape" – ribbon cutting Saturday, October 4, 11 PM – Beach 76 Street and Shore Front Parkway. Reception – Boardwalk concession, 1-3 PM, Beach 97 Street and Shore Front Parkway.