Joel Gaitán presents his work at the Rockefeller Center
The Nicaraguan artist's exhibition will be open through April 23.
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Nicaraguan artist Joel Gaitán's work consists of murals, light boxes, a trio of vitrines and sculptures that adopt human forms paying homage to Central American pre-Columbian ceramic styles with modern touches.
Through his works, Gaitán is out to explore themes intertwined with spirituality, sexuality, taboos, identity and ancestry.
"Now it's cold in New York, so we bring the tropics. We bring the warmth, the sun and the bright colors," Gaitán said in a release from the Rockefeller Center.
Gaitán's exhibition kicked off the 2023 season of Art in Focus, the Center's fifth consecutive year of visual art installations produced in collaboration with the Art Production Fund.
As the artist told Rockefeller Center, his creative process involves entering a state of intuitive trance to make his clay sculptures.
"Sometimes the clay takes on a direction of its own," he said. "It can start falling inward or sideways. So even though I usually start with one idea, I may end up with another because the changing shape inspires me to do something else."
Among the sculptures on display at the center are pots personified with elaborate hairstyles and gold accessories that the artist has named after his "divas."
For Gaitán, having his work displayed at the Rockefeller Center means everything in the world.
"Getting to show my art in a historic building in the heart of New York, it's just great. You don't have to be from where I'm from to understand the things we share. We all have our own history and upbringing, but at the end of the day we come together as a community," he said.
This year's Rockefeller Center program focuses on the theme of abstraction and highlights the works of three artists with solo exhibitions — collage artist Basil Kincaid and painter Dominique Fung, who join Gaitán's exhibition.
Gaitán's work will be on display at Rockefeller Center through April 23, 2023. This installation is part of Art in Focus, a series of art exhibitions produced in collaboration with Art Production Fund.