I create open-ended, narrative paintings that at first seem to depict banal events, yet upon closer examination, abnormal actions, elements, or character personages emerge. Inspired by magic realism, my work mixes the real and unreal aspects of dream states as reflections on Latin American cultural and literary references to ritual, the uncanny, and symbolism. The works are a collision of themes of migration, immigration, belonging and identity placed within the complex, highly emotional coded world of youth. My dreamlike-state works represent the confusion and fragility of becoming of age as the embodiment of the struggle for identity and a sense of belonging and explore the influence memories and dreams have on the construction of identity.
Christian Curiel was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1977 to Cuban Parents and moved to Miami in the mid 80’s. He received his BFA from International Fine Arts College in Miami in 2000 and an MFA from Yale School of Art in New Haven, CT in 2005.
His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including: Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris 2006; Bass Museum of Art, Miami 2002; Americas Society, El Museo Del Barrio, NYC 2012; and Lehmann Maupin, NYC 2006-2008. His work is in several private and public collections including the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris; The Dean Valentine collection, Los Angeles, CA; The Perez Art Museum Miami; The Hort Family; Janna Bullock and Jean-Pierre Lehmann collections in New York and Europe; among others. In addition, his works have been exhibited as part of the Art in Embassies Program in Brasilia, Brazil. Also, the artist is a member of the collective FeCuOp, founded in 1997 in Miami that experiments with social interactions and art. They have an upcoming exhibition at Locust Projects in Miami in fall 2019.
Curiel is the recipient of the Cintas Fellowship Prize and the Robert Schoelkopf Traveling fellowship from the Yale School of Art among many other prestigious awards and residencies both local and abroad. The artist splits his time between New Haven, CT where he is a lecturer/professor and teaches drawing fundamentals, and Miami, FL.