Within the esteemed milieu of Art Basel, the illustrious Bernardo Medina, known professionally as BeMe, will grace the Aldo Menéndez Permanent Hall at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Americas with the presentation of his tome, 'The Sofrito Manifesto', a work that proudly encompasses two volumes. In the foreword of the second volume, dedicated to the cocktails and libations commonly savored in Puerto Rico, Joaquín E. Bacardí III penned: "It is a source of great pride for me to speak on a subject that, within my family, has been woven into the fabric of our daily discourse from a young age... Born into a lineage of rum manufacturers with a father and grandfather who were master distillers, it was our customary practice to converse about our cherished beverage, one that mirrors the vibrancy, spark, and ardor with which we embrace life in the Caribbean."
This unveiling will take place amidst a personal exhibition of Medina's oeuvre. Select pieces from diverse series have been meticulously curated to offer the South Florida audience and December fair attendees as comprehensive a view as possible of the artistry Medina has cultivated over the past quinquennium. Eleven medium-format works stand out, marked by an exuberant chromatic range that flawlessly encapsulates their genesis—breathing the very air and visual culture of the Caribbean.
As an artist, Medina remarks: 'I focus on creating pieces that denote a high level of sensibility. My inspiration is born out of the idea of creating an emotional connection with the spectator all the while providing them the opportunity to appreciate something innovative. It is like giving a popular truth a modern twist and giving it space to acquire new hues. My pieces are born out of aspects of people’s day-to-day lives that are transformed to be unique.'
Bernardo Medina's development as an artist has been a long process of study and experimentation in medium, style and technique. Ten years ago this experimentation led him to create pieces with mixed media; he instantly recognized that he had found his calling. His work has always been an expression of love as many of his earlier works were given as presents to close friends and relatives who, in turn, were very frequently his inspiring muses. The ability to integrate objects found on his journeys to create beautiful strong colored abstract pieces caught the attention of a Puerto Rican based art dealer and connoisseur, who gave him the opportunity to exhibit his art in her gallery upon recognizing his innate artistic fervor.
Bernardo debuted at a collective charitable exhibition in 2006 with his first series titled Fly Hi. Fly Hi consisted of renditions of airplanes in various shapes and sizes while establishing his trademark of utilizing color accents and vintage advertisements in order to convey his message.
In April 2008, Azar (Chance) became his first solo show, highlighting in this series the element of coincidence in all kinds of human relationships, from coworkers, to friends, and family. Hearts of different shapes and colors where the main theme of this exhibition.The year 2009 represents for Bernardo the beginning of the internationalization of his works. He will show his most recent collection titled Fly Away in Miami, Florida; his first show outside of Puerto Rico.
Distinguished by his impeccable ability to integrate objects, found on his trips, to create beautiful and strong abstract pieces, Bernardo Medina’s artistic development has been the result of a long process of studying and experimentation. His art debuted in 2003 with “Fly Hi” as part of a collective to raise funds for a cancer patient, meanwhile, later “Azar” became his first individual exposition, that was a total success with every art piece selling an hour before its inauguration. Quickly, his career began to take off on an international level when in 2009 he presented his collection “Fly Away” in Miami, Florida.
His Puerto Rican identity has been a recurrent theme in Medina’s works creating collections such as “Candy Me”, inspired by traditional Puerto Rican candies; Bet, which was based on las ruletas de caballos de pica, a traditional game played in Puerto Rico’s fiestas patronales and “Cafetín” inspired by the traditional coffee shops or cafetines in the island. From this last work originate the iconic pieces known as “Plátano”, which have been exhibited in Miami, Spain, and New York. Also, he is the author of The Sofrito Manifesto 1 & 2, books that celebrate the Puerto Rican cuisine and beverages. Apart from his artistic trajectory, Bernardo Medina is the founder and president of successful communications firm, Kroma.