Outsider artists, or artists who work apart from mainstream art communities and academic culture, are self-taught. Certain outsider artists suffer from some form of mental illness that contributes to the creation of unconventional and elaborate works of art. A documented history exists of mental health professionals who, since the 19th century, have identified and helped bring recognition to patients whose skilled artistic expressions reveal distinctive personalities, complex thought processes, and ultimately, their humanity.
This show concentrates on the artistic production of two highly-recognized Cuban outsider artists: Misleidys Castillo and Jorge Alberto Hernández Cadi, also known as "El Buzo (The Diver)." While Castillo, who has autistic spectrum disorder, ritualistically creates cartoon-like characters which she draws from certain introspective and cryptic codes to establish her own aesthetic, El Buzo expresses his struggles with pathological schizophrenia by utilizing recycled materials which he then draws on to recreate his own emotionally fragmented reality.
Jorge Alberto Hernandez, El Buzo
Outsider Artists from Havana is a project managed by NAEMI in close collaboration with a group of specialists from the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum and the administrative staff from the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health at FIU. This exhibition was curated by Claudia Taboada in collaboration with NAEMI.
National Art Exhibitions of the Mentally Ill (NAEMI) is a nonprofit organization based in the United States, founded in 1988 by Juan Martin, the current Executive Director.More information: Juan Martín, phone: 305 972 1069.