ARTIST STATEMENTJose Cifuentes is a thirty-five-year-old mixed media abstract artist from Medellin, Colombia. Jose moved his life and practice to Toronto, Canada, to find inspiration for his current chapter of creation. Known for manifesting varied visual representations of freedom, his art is a mixture of thick knife strokes with free-hand illustrations on canvas and recycled surfaces. He collects and portrays moods that are in vivid, visceral paint strokes, loose lines, deliberate drips and passionate splatters. All this to the great end of creating the ideal marriage of fine and urban art.
He draws from his experience as an immigrant in the U.S.A (not necessarily a positive experience), and now Canada (a very positive experience in progress), to express the authenticity of artistic freedom and the emotional havoc that surrounds it. To be an immigrant is to struggle in life with instability, but this also means embracing the realities of said struggle to grow bold, fearless and free. Jose continually defies the odds by shaking the conventional foundations of tradition seminal to the way of life in predominantly Catholic countries such as Colombia and United States.
My studio is based and established on the traditional territory of the Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Métis, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. I acknowledge them and any other Nations who care for the land (acknowledged and unacknowledged, recorded and unrecorded) as the past, present and future caretakers of this land named Tkaronto, “Where The Trees Meet The Water”; “The Gathering Place”.
Indigenous peoples have stewarded this land for 15,000 years and continue to do so today. I recognize that this gathering place is the subject of the One Dish, One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant – an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and Confederacy of the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.