Gustavo Oviedo, now 39, was born in Paris but was raised in France, Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico before finally relocating to Miami. In Miami, painting graffiti was a means to learn the city, connect with other teenagers and was a common language that helped him adapt to a new, foreign culture. With Miami’s art scene booming and adulthood calling, Oviedo broke away from the clandestine world of graffiti and decided to explore a part of Miami that didn’t include abandoned buildings and construction sites—the Biscayne Bay.
Over the past 15 years, Oviedo has developed a highly personal, self-taught style of art that explores the relationship between the bustle of Miami’s vibrant metropolitan streets and the tranquility of the Biscayne Bay’s aquatic life, currents, and marine dystopia.
Symbiosis includes large paintings of loose sea-like forms, mixed media collages, and visual representations of otherworldliness devoid of human language or graffiti letters. His palette is as colorful as the brightest coral reefs dipped in fluorescent pigments. His ocean discoveries of shipwrecks, corals, and found pieces of pollution give power to his creative output and to a body of work that is rooted in marine life and the impact of the streets of Miami he once painted. Oviedo’s work conveys the beauty of our waters but screams out that he is not naïve to the recurring problem of mankind’s disrespect for this natural resource. A main focus of the show is a piece entitled “Low Tide Shopping,” a massive suspended sculpture comprised of Styrofoam buoys found tangled in the mangroves along South Florida’s coastline. Another mixed media sculpture (pictured above) entitled, “Biscayne Bay Bottles” features glass bottles carelessly discarded into the Bay, dating back to the 1950’s, now making their way back to shore thanks to Oviedo. Several other new works will also feature 3-dimensional upcycled marine debris, juxtaposed with Oviedo’s adjacent giant fluorescent canvases