I thought I would go in a new direction to challenge myself and apply some of the new techniques I've learned while painting murals in Wynwood. This portrait is titled "Amir the Warrior King with Machete" and its inspired by some of the Ottoman Empire paintings. It's something completely different from my usual headdress artwork of various women but somehow the message still reveals itself underneath. I would love to create more of these for different people and feel that I can really create some outstanding work with the right commissions. Right now I feel that with more delicate studies and time my work will develop into more into new realms never explored before.
Creating art for 5 years now has had its struggles and challenges. In many ways I have felt that just when I think I am closer to my goals, I end up farther way from what I set out for. The main things that are a major challenge in creating art have been to maintain the strength and ability to stay true to your voice while the art market tries to dictate your direction.
There are so many things that I never thought would be part of the process as an artist. I find myself spending many nights researching the topics I would like to discuss, photographing my work properly, engaging in social media, color correcting prints, mailing them, answering calls for interviews, submitting to art shows, public art calls, mixing paint, setting my work space up, sending newsletters out, looking for ads that are looking to hire artists, creating murals, setting up affordable options for buyers, updating my website, updating my collectors on new works, writing and rewriting my statement, framing art, promoting exhibits and the list goes on and on. There is so much that is involved in the art process that is not even the actual act of creating art that once can be left exhausted without resources.
So how do I balance? Well I don't. I think its a lie to think that any artist has their life under control, you are met with the constant battle of wether or not to continue creating or quit and make real money. The truth of the matter is that the whole art world has created an intense illusion for artists. Its never been easy to compare yourself to those who have had more means, funds and privilege than you to succeed. Talent never mattered in this game, and the more and more you get involved in this world the more and more there will be resounding voices telling you to quit while you are ahead.
Make some real money. I mean isn't that what everyone really wants in life anyway? The big house, the fancy car, the family and gong out to dinner parties every weekend? How can one maintain such a life when 80% of it is spent on art failures and not generating enough income to make that a reality? Truth is I don't know. And even though my short lived successes may appear to tell a different story, I struggle every day to maintain.
In the end, I wont ever be sure if the struggle was worth it. 5 years later and I am still trying to figure myself out. All I can do is pour my heart into my work until I have nothing left to give.....
Thought I'd give a quick update on how I add gold leaf to my artwork. Gold leaf really adds a new element to my drawings. You can see how the glimmer of the gold leaf transforms the fine art into something unique and special by adding a three dimensional quality to it. If you are interested in purchasing any of my works or visiting Wynwood studio to see the works in person use the contact form and reach out to me. If you would just like to send me a quick note thats welcomed as well!
Just finished a 2 day shoot for a commercial featuring my artwork, art studio and murals located in Wynwood and Little Haiti. For this shoot, the focus was on strong primary colors and large scale art alongside the inspiration for my upcoming series of work, my garden. Attached are some behind the scenes photos located at both murals and studio space.
Just completed a public art mural that was commissioned by the city of Olympia in Washington state with my team The Color Dreamers. Though we have completed many murals in the Wynwood Miami, this is our first collaboration out of state by a city government. PBIA commissioned the project and we were very happy to light up the town with color throughout the week long process. Below is our time lapse video of the entire mural process. Enjoy!
As an artist its often very difficult too dive into all the creative avenues that can spark your interest. Having lost my art studio in Wynwood back in December, I inherited a better space that allows me to channel the art spirits into my garden and evoke my own God energy into helping things grow and watching them flourish. The earth's mysteries lie in all of its elements and if we just pay attention, we'll solve its curiosities. This series explores that continual connection to nature. The pottery represents a structure made from earth and its design the inherited ancestral patterns that continue to flow through my hands.
This is the latest completed artwork for the Monarch Series that I have been working on out of my art studio in Wynwood. The series focuses on combination between nature and royalty. This particular artwork titled "Transformation" lends its overall form and design to the gold butterfly chrysalis and the concept is derived from the metamorphic process of our inner beingRead More
Zaha Hadid the Iraqi architect and also known as the Queen of Architecture was one of my greatest inspirations for most of my work. Hadid's death had an impact on me instantly as I was hoping to one day meet her. This artwork is tribute that incorporates some of the elements of her own building designs including her 1000 Museum building to be completed in Miami 2018.Read More
Nicaraguan artist Ivette Cabrera’s delicate drawings, women real and imagined elaborate headdresses. The black, white and red crowns transcend fashion trends and sovereign traditions, resembling weightless, geometric diagrams ― part botanical, part architectural ― that allude to the endless, blossoming potential of its wearers. They are material and immaterial, regal and boundless.Read More
This artwork is for the heroic warrior Joan of Arc.
Archival ink, marker, charcoal and gold leaf on paper
Just finished my latest drawing based off the historical Joan of Arc. She is also known as The Maid of Orleans, but she was a warrior who led an army so we'll give her a proper title "The Martyr of Orleans".
Joan of Arc was burned at the stake after leading an army of men to fight her to recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. .
"The subjects for my work are women from various cultures. My research has led me to find important women who changed the course of history, sometimes by creating rituals to glorify certain women or by breaking all cultural barriers in a society that devalued their worth. As a woman, I feel that its important to represent and tell their story. In visual art, it is both important to convey powerful messages to the viewer and to represent a beauty which entices the viewer to search deeper. The subjects of my work are beautiful women. But what makes them beautiful is how we see the power of their presence reflected back at us". (woven tale press article here)
My work is a continuous rebellion against who society wants us to be vs. who we actually are and the battle has just begun.
Been working on a portrait of Zaha Hadid since she died last year. She was one of my biggest inspirations for architecture and art. Here's a short video I put together of the process of me adding some gold leaf to her portrait. Some of the stylistic elements in this artwork include designs from the 1000 Museum building in Miami.
After 4 years of actively working and living in my art studio in Wynwood Miami, I had to let it go this past December right before Art Basel 2016. For an artist the act of creating art can be very complicated. Many things have to be sacrificed in order to create, for me it was a reasonable living situation. The warehouse converted space was called Viophilia a word that described the obsession with art. We built the walls, we painted, we invited collaboration and in the end only the memories that were documented remained.
For years the derelict warehouse was home to loud underground ska parties, urban art pushers, a vintage pin-up model photo studio, a skate ramp, a colony of mice and at last a place where artists could envision a space and create interactive art installations, exhibits and even musical performances. While the space sometimes took the best of me with many sleepless nights from the police sirens roaring loud outside my window, it also took the best of my work and allowed me the time to focus intensely on my craft.
I met many new artists, embarked on a new path creating murals with an amazing partner and also attended the funeral wake of a local artist who was also struggling to make it in art. I look at space in a whole new light now, for it is not the space or location that makes development happen, but the people who inhabit that space that can make that space vibrate with life.
For now, Viophilia rests in peace, as a temple of creativity and its ruins lay scattered upon that concrete floor. I thank all those that made it what it was by giving their time and helping to make it what it was.
My latest inspiration comes from the young goddess women on Patan in Nepal. The tradition is based on the ideal that pre-pubescent girls considered to be the earthly manifestations of divine female energy, incarnations of the goddess known as Taleju, the Nepalese name for Durga.2 Selected as children, they live in temples, are carried in chariots during festivals and are worshipped by thousands of Hindus and Buddhists.Read More
Excited to announce my interview with The Woven Tale Press Literary and Fine Arts Magazine. Link to interview can be found here.
Interview by Emily Jaeger, Features Editor
Ivette Cabrera is a Nicaraguan-born artist currently residing in Wynwood Miami, Florida. She migrated to the United States with her mother and siblings at the age of three to escape the Sandinista Revolution. She studied Interior Architecture and Design at the Academy of Art University and Marketing at Columbia College in Chicago. She started an art collective and artist residency in Wynwood in 2012 called Viophilia as an artistic sanctuary for artists to work intensively on their craft. She has curated numerous art shows as well as worked on various projects, including site renderings, interior renovations, and public art murals, as well as designing and constructing a house in Nicaragua. Her work has been part of numerous exhibitions, displayed at the Baker Museum in Naples, Florida, and is part of numerous private collections.
Jaeger: Your drawings appearing in this month’s issue are part of a larger series featuring portraits of women adorned with fantastical, decorative crowns. What was the impetus for this project?
Cabrera: I wanted to portray women from different cultural backgrounds embracing their own inner power and strength. Every woman is born wearing a crown because she can accomplish anything. As a society we should not only honor beauty but also welcome the powerful role that all women have. Society often has preset barriers and roles that are placed upon women, especially those from certain backgrounds. My work is an attempt to highlight and then break down those barriers so that any woman can see herself as potent and influential like the women in my art: women who wear crowns.
Jaeger: How did you choose your subjects for this series?
Cabrera: The subjects for my work are women from various cultures. My research has led me to find important women who changed the course of history, sometimes by creating rituals to glorify certain women or by breaking all cultural barriers in a society that devalued their worth. As a woman, I feel that its important to represent and tell their story. In visual art, it is both important to convey powerful messages to the viewer and to represent a beauty which entices the viewer to search deeper. The subjects of my work are beautiful women. But what makes them beautiful is how we see the power of their presence reflected back at us.
Jaeger: In this series, you use a limited palette of color and composition; each portrait contains only a single woman, from the neck up, wearing a crown. Why did you choose to limit your palette?
Cabrera: I chose to limit my palette because I felt that less was more. I wanted the viewer to focus on the details within each piece with minimal distractions.
Jaeger: Who are some of the artists who have helped inspire this series or your work at large?
Jaeger: “Into the Light” stands out for your unique placement of the subject and the expressive gesture of her neck. Could you talk about the role of the subject’s gesture as well as her facial expression in the composition of this piece? And in the series overall?
Cabrera: “Into the Light” was inspired by the independent film Nena, directed by my friend Christi Arce. The movie follows a young girl who is molested by her father until she finally breaks free and moves on to a brighter future. My piece explores the concept of moving forward in life despite past circumstances. In the drawing, the woman faces the sun—the light. Her headdress is taller than before because she overcame the trials and tribulations of something young girls have experienced throughout the world. It was crucial to show her resilience—how resilient all women can be—so while the gesture of her head is strong, her face is gentle and at peace.
“Into the Light” is also part of another series I’ve been working on called Sacred Spring, based on the Ver Sacrum magazine (1898-1903) of the Vienna Secession, which explored new styles of art outside of academic restrictions.
Jaeger: All the portraits are fascinating meldings of realistic features with the more conceptual of the crowns. Can you talk about this, especially as you seem to have done quite a bit of purely conceptual drawings outside of this series?
Cabrera: Abstract work has a way of opening up the imagination. I wanted to incorporate this element into my drawings while also refining and showcasing my skills in portraiture. The juxtaposition of these two styles is meant to create contrast.
The abstract forms I draw in the crowns are actually very detailed: I use a magnifying glass to continually add depth to the work. I had to teach myself how to draw the more “realistic” figures outside of my architectural studies. It has been a big challenge to learn how to draw realistically, but it is essential to development of my message and how serious I am about it. I couldn’t just make everything abstract. I wanted people to value that there were more complex layers to what I was trying to achieve, so I had to prove that I could draw and have an understanding of the complexities of realism.
Jaeger: Previously, you studied Interior Architecture and Design at the Academy of Art University. How did you come to pursue this series, and from that background?
Cabrera: Studying at the Academy showed me how to transfer my own style into a functional structure. At first, I spent many hours and long nights drafting, trying to achieve perfection in my work. It’s a rigorous process when you are designing elements of a building. However, as I began to focus on Cultural Studies, I learned more about issues that women where dealing with around the world. Soon I felt that architecture could only supplement my artistic process. To fully embrace and raise awareness about the topics I was exploring, I needed a new medium. That led me to an exploration of drawings that blended architecture’s technical aspects with a more expressive form.
Jaeger: How has your background in architecture influenced your artistic process?
Cabrera: My background in architecture has taught me to simplify structures into lines and forms, make use of negative space, and allow the viewer to take a journey through the structure. Odd shapes are always welcomed as long as they are in harmony with the overall composition and provide balance. I tend to look at architectural sketches of buildings to see how they utilize lines, curves, and forms.
I also use a lot of the methods of drawing that I learned while drafting. For example, when I studied Interior Architecture and Design, we were taught to roll the pencil as we draw to make an absolutely perfect line and to make sure each line has a perfect start and end to it. Sometimes you also have to go over the start and end points of a line just a bit to achieve that solid look of the line. These subtle details makes the work look complete.
Jaeger: The crowns are constructed from a combination of architectural, geometric, and seemingly ecological imagery. How did you come to incorporate this third element?
Cabrera: I lived in my art studio at the edge of Wynwood, Miami for a long time. The space was a converted-concrete, derelict warehouse in a pretty bad neighborhood. When I finally moved out to a small cottage with a yard, I began gardening and experienced nature in a new light. The way that a bird builds its nest, the caterpillars on their way to transformation, and the monarch butterflies that visited the garden relate to the special cycle of life that exists all around us. We are all in a process of transformation because that’s how nature works.
My experiences with the natural world inspired a new series, Monarch, that not only relates to the transformation of the individual but also to empowerment. I incorporated my studies of historical women with the elements represented in nature such as the cocoon, chrysalis, nest, etc.
Jaeger: How might your experience drawing this series perhaps influence your work in architecture?
Cabrera: My experience in drawing Monarch has led me to explore the forms in nature that can exist as architectural structures. I feel that when we embrace the nature that exists around us, we create a harmonious relationship with it.
Enclosing structures actually creates a barrier to the environment. When I designed a house in Nicaragua, my priority was to open the house up to its surroundings. I created an interior courtyard open to the sky, allowed for wind to pass through the house, and also designed an interior garden that could be viewed from many angles within the home.
Jaeger: You also have made a foray into public art, with some quite dynamic aura works. How did this come about? In particular, the mural depicting one of these actual portraits?
Cabrera: The end goal for me has always been to express my message to as many women and people as possible. Public art is a beautiful way to expose art to many people who aren’t accustomed to going to a gallery or a museum. I remember once a whole school bus of children passed by while I was working. All of the children were screaming and shouting about how beautiful it was. A family passing by even asked about the mural. It’s essential for artists to take part in exposing art to those who cannot access it because the opportunities afforded through exposure can change the whole course of a person’s life.
Jaeger: You write, “I want women to question their own identity so the headdress art is abstract, showing that every woman wears a crown.” Could you talk more about why your choice to make the headdress art abstract causes women to question their identity?
Cabrera: If I were to depict a purely realistic crown or headdress then the viewer would only associate the crowns with those who have worn them in the past. However, if I allow the abstract forms to shine through, the viewer can use their imagination and begin to create their own associations with crowns.
I hope the viewer will imagine themselves wearing the crown and that this process will lead them to ask themselves where they come from, who they are, what brought them here, how they view themselves, where are they going, can they one day make their own crown? Once we’ve been empowered by the idea that each of us wears a royal crown or majestic headdress, the barriers of our existence cease to exist. We can accomplish anything we put our love and work into.
Very honored to be featured in Mount Gay Rum's United in Craft series that featured some behind the scenes shot of me working on art and my Mural team The Color Dreamers.
Silent Art Auction 49 at Yellowstone Art Museum on March 4th, 2017
The exhibition culminates in our annual Fine Art Auction which consists of a silent auction, a live auction, a “Quick Draw,” and cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres, all within the beautiful background created by the museum’s spacious galleries. The auction begins Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 5 p.m. and features a catered dinner and dessert buffet. The Live Auction bidding begins at 7:30 p.m. and will include a raffle drawing. Advance tickets to the Art Auction event last year was $95 per person and $105 at the door.
Art Auction 49 exhibition will be on view:
January 19, 2017 – March 4, 2017
Artwork to be auctioned off is called Into the Light
Into the Light
10" x 19"
Archival ink, marker, graphite, and charcoal on toned paper.
Sacred Spring Series
Exhibited at Baker Museum in Naples Florida 2014. Currently at Silent Art Auction 49 for Yellowstone Art Museum on March 4, 2017.
“Into the Light” was inspired by the independent film Nena, directed by my friend Christi Arce. The movie follows a young girl who is molested by her father until she finally breaks free and moves on to a brighter future. My piece explores the concept of moving forward in life despite past circumstances. In the drawing, the woman faces the sun—the light. Her headdress is taller than before because she overcame the trials and tribulations of something young girls have experienced throughout the world. It was crucial to show her resilience—how resilient all women can be—so while the gesture of her head is strong, her face is gentle and at peace.
Created November 2013
If you want to find women that are doing big things in the art world, keep an eye out for these artists in Miami during Art Week.
Women struggle to get ahead in every industry, and the art world is no different. But this year's Miami Art Week offers a showcase of up and coming feminine talent that should be on your radar right now. Whether you’re an ardent feminist or simply someone looking to discover important art, follow our guide on the women to watch for at this year’s Art Basel and Miami Art Week.
Viophilia, an art collective and gallery started by three local women artists (Ivette Cabrera, Francy Freixas, and Natalia Molina), will be open and exhibiting works by their residents (many of which are also women) during Art Basel. The studio will also be working with Viu Gallery on a special exhibition Friday, Dec. 2nd from 9-10 p.m. Ms. Cabrera (one of Viophilia’s directors) will also be showcasing some of her work at the Art Beat Miami Satellite Fair.
Article can be found here
Excited to announce that my artwork will be featured in The Woven Tale Press for their December issue! The publication is a 13 year old publication with world wide distribution and a large network or artists, collectors and gallerist's.
Print is available here: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1198624
The last few weeks have been great! Not only have I moved my studio but I have been creating a new mural and shooting a commercial with Mount Gay Rum. Mount Gay Rum reached out to my partner and I for a national rum marketing campaign that focuses on my artwork and our murals for their #unitedincraft series. Their NYC and LA team came down to meet with us and their production team Stadium for a 2 day shoot. They treated us to a great storied supper at The Raleigh Hotel where they showed us how they perfect the craft of making their rum.
I was selected for Starry Night's "Artists to Look Out For" available December 2016 for Art Basel Miami. I'll be posting the link soon!Read More