Mónica Batard

By R10
April 11, 2023

Mónica is a Cuban artist born in Cabaiguán, Sancti Spiritus, in 1979. She has been living and working in Miami for a couple of years now. Her works, in their entirety, reveal the imprint that her family environment has left on her formation as an artist and as a human being. They are also a crystal-clear reflection of the consequences that reality's blows leave on her moods. She lived almost her entire life in an environment marked by crafts, surrounded by the women of her family, united by a common vocation, manual weaving. The magic of crochet, the popular technique that uses a needle with a hook at one end to create a variety of patterns and designs on fabric, was her means of survival. Her execution is very creative and extremely relaxing. The completion of these laborious and captivating pieces usually provides feelings of satisfaction and personal fulfillment. Like almost no one of her generation, Batard is not immune to the spiritual erosion that implies living in a precarious political and economic environment. The fact of emigrating at a certain age and under very complex personal circumstances has channeled an artistic production that, in addition to the aesthetic experience, has allowed her to exorcise traumatic and disruptive experiences.

From the Conscious series, Untitled, 2023 Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 72 inches
Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 72 inches

Formally, her works refer us to concrete art and geometric abstraction. She uses simple shapes, straight lines, circles, and triangles. The meticulous exercise of almost mechanical and supposedly predictable patterns is accompanied by a vibrant chromatic range. She brought with her a Caribbean palette that she prepares with almost scientific rigor. These notes of color separate the corridors that border the gardens of a tedious city, crossed by paths that lead nowhere and that betray the pernicious mathematics of one-way roads. Monica walks, focusing her attention on the flower beds. It is not difficult to find in her works the trace of warm events from her childhood and adolescence, of the fabrics woven by her mother, aunts, grandmothers, friends, and colleagues, while they reviewed their anxieties or savored their best memories. This memory is a foothold for managing a fairly uncertain present. They are also exercises in emotional evasion. The almost enigmatic repetition of geometric patterns, instigated by an almost serialized combination of complementary motives and colors, replicate the stereotyped behaviors of animals in captivity that suffer stress and anxiety. These disorders occur fundamentally in artificial environments that do not provide opportunities for natural behaviors. What would be the appropriate ecosystem for a newly emigrated woman who remains umbilically tied to the reasons for her departure? A new environment is always demanding and an ideal breeding ground for anguish, uncertainty, and fear. Art is a fearless response. However, it also arises from the entire set of experiences accumulated throughout a lifetime. It is bittersweet. Finding artistic expressions as sincere as this one also has to do with the context. They are pieces that provoke profound empathy and that flee from their creator with their problems on their backs. Monica is the curator of this homage, curiously, to a life of misencounters.

Enlaces externos


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