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MASCH and Armando Marino

The janinebeangallery presents paintings by the exceptional artist MASCH in its main rooms -The Past is Now- and in the Salon paintings of Cuban artist Armando Marino.

MASCH, who was born in the Rhineland in 1950 and studied painting at the UdK in Berlin in the 1970s, has successfully exhibited his works nationally and internationally for many years. He was also active as a musician and in this capacity also worked for the Bavaria Film Studios in Munich. He eventually incorporated his skills as a painter into his work for the film world. The film then won an Oscar in 2015 for his work as an art painter for the film “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. Even today and in addition to the work in his studio, painting for MASCH includes the creation of scenes for films.

The exhibition „The Past is Now“ presents the latest series of works by the artist MASCH for the first time. In the works of the series, the figures and forms against abstract backgrounds are divided into polygons and relatively homogeneous surfaces. These fields are characterized and distinguished by both monochrome colors and uniform textures, and their contours follow an overarching geometry of shapes. This results in a seamless and nested arrangement, which means that the different shapes and forms are separated like tiles, as well as connected and interwoven. Without color gradients, the silhouettes appear to be embedded in one another. The figures, objects and backgrounds in MASCH's works are in a magical flow and juxtaposition, in direct connection and reciprocity. In this sense, MASCH's two-dimensional formal language and semiotics are rooted in the tradition of simplification and reduction as in cubism for example. This is another reason why it would be a mistake to confuse his clarity and precision of expression with naivety. MASCH is free from such role models in his particular style, not least because of a noticeable, greater lightness and a confident, but also undogmatic expression. This sovereignty is noticeably developed and is the result of a thorough finding. In their clear formal language, MASCH's figures combine an enigmatic simplicity similar to that of archaic geoglyphs with humor and a desire to tell stories straight from everyday life. Strange gestures and symbols are naturally coupled with human closeness and down-to-earthness. This makes MASCH's works as accessible as they are multi-layered and, especially in this combination, extremely fascinating.

In the janinebeangallery Salon, we present -Face to Face - the recent series of Cuban artist Armando Marino.

We would say that in these recent paintings, Mariño is looking to his previous works back in the nineties (in his opinion the world hasn't changed so much after all) and all the subjects he used to discuss back then are still present but now with a fresh pair of eyes and a completely renovated, mixed and open free technique. These new works differ from the ones in the past on many levels, for example, in the materiality, in the way he applies the oil, from thick to thin, from flat to standing, from liquified to dry brushstrokes, in the juxtaposition of smooth and rough, the bent perspective, the direct application of the color, the multilayer and so on. This is the result of years of experimentation and changes influenced by several artists, travels and tendencies. There is not one way of painting like there is not one way to approach or address the issues or conflicts that the painting highlights.
By using parody, pastiche, and a vast repertoire of images from magazines, the internet, books, and the history of art his work offers a unique and sarcastic approach to the painting as a space of power and exclusion, while at the same time, he's tackling unsettling issues about race, sex, human trafficking, and cultural identity. The result is a confrontational and controversial work that exposes the complexity of human relations and cultural interactions.
His works are deeply referential and difficult to label. Coming from a rich multicultural background (he's originally from Cuba) and moving and living in different countries he is not afraid to operate outside the "box" that usually labels for commercial reasons the artist as black, Cuban, or afro-descendant.
Mariño carefully appropriates, reorganizes and recontextualizes imagery from different sources to exacerbate or make any conflicts visible. In his paintings conventions, traditions, categorization and influences are not a restriction. Au contraire they serve as a detonator to display a heterogeneous, multilayered and complex painting both in his subject and his technique, they are just the perfect exponent of the artist himself.

Armando Mariño was born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, in 1968 into a family of scientists. His mother was a physicist and his father an engineer. Despite her desire to pursue a scientific career, he chose to pursue his love of art. He graduated from the Provincial School of Arts in Santiago de Cuba in 1987 and from the School of Art Education at the Enrique José Varona Higher Pedagogical Institute in Havana in 1992.
He claims that the most important lesson he learned from these Cuban artists was awareness of contemporary art theories and concepts. In 2004 and 2005 he studied at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Much of his work reflects social unrest, protests and rebellions. He uses bold, vibrant colors in multiple layers to build his oil or watercolor works. “Armando Marino filled his paintings in the late 1990s with corrosive historical fictions in which Cuban and European-Western art history collide.”

His works are exhibited in numerous galleries around the world, including Gericke + Paffrath Gallery, Coates & Scarry (London, UK) and Faction Art Project NY. The janinebeangallery presented the artist's works in 2017.

Additional information
Participating artists
Armando Marino
April 2024