Alex Nuñez is a Cuban-American mixed media painter from Miami, FL.
Nuñez creates drawing-painting hybrids that are based on intuitive gestures. Many of her works begin with a found image or object which becomes embellished, or inserted into an existing painting. Through hypnotic mark-making, Nunez renders skeins of tropical fronds and twirling tentacles that envelop the source material, transforming the familiar into swirling portals of meditation and a reflection of an almost disintegrating past.
Nuñez’s practice concentrates on the amalgamation of pop culture and personal image hoarding—ranging from appropriated images from vintage magazines to comic books—with explosions of color, texture, and sheen. Bursting with iridescent pigments, pastel chalk, glitter, confetti, pompoms, gummy candy, and banana peels, Nuñez’s compositions become immersive environments that play on memory, erosion, overindulgence, disorientation, humor, vanity, narcissism, and opulence.
Like a female action painter, Nuñez pours her entire self into her art and as a result her works are charged with a raw energy. Integral to her creative process is music; whether it be through source imagery or visual inspiration by way of audio stimulation (note her extensive series of bedizened album covers from the 1970s and ‘80s). Nuñez adds, “I am fascinated to see the various ways that artworks can be affected by what we listen to, and whether that resonates with the viewer in the final piece.”
Quite naturally, Nuñez love affair with sound lead to the launch of “Sunday Painter”, a podcast series that explores the connection between artists and their inspirations. The open format series discusses various artist’s relationships to music in their studio practice. Broadcasted weekly (Sundays, 8PM EST) on KPISSFM out of a refurbished shipping container-cum-radio station in Bushwick, “Sunday Painter” features an array of NY based artists and opens up a dialogue across mediums.
The artist received her BA from Loyola University, New Orleans in 2006 after which she completed international workshops at Firenze Arti Visive, Florence and Metàfora, Barcelona. In 2009 Nuñez received her Post-baccalaureate diploma from School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2012 Nuñez earned her MFA from Hunter College, New York where she was awarded the C12 Emerging Artist Fellowship. The artist has exhibited internationally at venues such as UNTITLED Art Fair (Miami, FL), El Museo del Barrio (NYC), Marianne Boesky (NYC), Mac Fine Art (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) and Pristine Galerie (Monterrey, Mexico). Nuñez has also been featured in numerous publications, including “100 Painters of Tomorrow: Jury’s Picks”, Thames & Hudson, 2014.
Nuñez’s current project is an installation of 200 painted and embellished banana peels spread across the floor of The Miami Show House at the Kampong Botanical Gardens in Coconut Grove, FL. Titled “I’m sleeping with my windows open. I wish you would appear. Remind me why I screen my calls and how I wish you lived near: an exercise in opulence,” the installation depicts the urgency of preserving and embellishing the present, regardless of its fleeting nature. The stuffed bananas also comment on our views of the aging process, our detrimental reliance on plastic and the natural endangerment caused by human interaction with the environment. Inevitably, decadence is pushed toward decay, activating our sense of impermanence and unease. Nuñez’s installation is on view at at the Kampong Botanical Gardens from April 7-24.
Artist photo above by Lynda Lynch La Rocca