Miguel Florido was born in San José de las Lajas, Havana, Cuba. He is a self-educated artist who has had eleven one-person exhibitions. His works have been included in various major international art fairs such as Art Miami, Expo Chicago, Dallas Art Fair, Houston Fine Art Fair, Art Wynwood, Art Palm Beach, Arteaméricas, Art20 & Modernism New York, CIRCA Puerto Rico, Art Hamptons, Art Santa Fe, and the LA Art Show. Florido’s paintings have been included in museum exhibitions at the Museum of Art – Fort Lauderdale and at the Appleton Museum of Art, in Ocala, Florida. His artworks have also been included in international New York art auctions and reside in important private and corporate collections. The artist presently lives and works in Cuba and is exclusively represented worldwide by Cernuda Arte since 2002.
One of the promising stars of the present art-world firmament, Miguel Florido has gained international prominence for his highly polished works of still lifes, as well as for his fascinating meadow-landscapes and evocative “wrinkled” paintings on canvases. The work of this young artist reveals a sense of accomplishment and mastery of technique. His rich concept of composition and innate talent for blending aesthetics and pictorial poetry, mark his artwork with transcendence.
Florido’s representations are classically derived yet uniquely compelling as contemporary artwork. Largely self-educated yet formidably skilled in oil and acrylic painting, the artist draws from the trompe l’oeil tradition of 17th century Old Master painters such as, Cornelius Norbert Gijsbrechts, Jean Baptiste Chardin, and Samuel van Hoogstraten. When he first visited the Prado museum in Madrid as a young man, he was fascinated with the paintings rendered by Francisco de Zurbarán, Juan Sánchez Cotán and Diego Velázquez. This is why Florido’s outstanding ability to depict wrinkles, creases and folds in his paintings reminisce these esteemed Spanish masters. The artist himself has said, “My encounter with these great painters during my first trip to Europe set new standards in my trajectory. I was deeply impacted with the quality of their work, their attention to meticulous detail, – their mysterious use of dramatic light. The more I observed, the more I admired the excellent craftsmanship of their compositions. The study of their work has been a critical factor in my development as a painter. It has inspired me to be rigorous and meticulous – to be truthful and precise.”
For the artist, painting has become a genuine passion and his preferred way of life. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Florido has spent his entire life in the countryside attuned to the wisdom of nature and the love of his family. His constant sources of inspiration flow to him through a multitude of channels: the rural beauty of his surroundings, everyday things, and personal experiences.
Miguel Florido is one of the few artists on the island that maintains his independence intact – disengaged from the communist way of life and the social organizations of Cuba’s government. For this, he has been ignored, criticized and excluded by the country’s main cultural institutions, the UNEAC (National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba) and the Consejo Nacional de las Artes Plásticas (National Council of Plastic Arts).
Florido’s awe-inspiring depictions explore the magic of mundane objects who bare the mark of time, of simplicity, of humbleness… the awareness of a present or past moment. They embody an air of stillness and intimacy, a spirit of wonder that draws the viewer closer to the inner realm of the artist. This persistent taste for the essence of things is principally evident in the artist’s still life renditions. They are sophisticated yet candid… inspired by everyday things such as, kitchen utensils, fruit, vegetables, flowers, cans, baskets, handkerchiefs or doors that recall a memory, a longing –treasured objects that evoke deep emotions, imbued in a persistent nostalgia. Equally important in execution are his splendid and intricate meadow-landscape paintings. Graced with a sense of wonder and romance, they unfold into subjective narratives that blend hyperrealism and abstraction. Art critic Joaquín Badajoz comments on the artist’s “wrinkled papers” series on canvas, “The wrinkled matter is not only a state of faded glory, roughness, physical and spiritual dehydration, but also a lyrical territory on which to fable about life’s unexpected twists and turns.”
In the introductory words to catalog that accompanied the artist’s successful second solo show in the United States – entitled Of Love and Life, Ramón Cernuda says:
“It is my firm conviction that Miguel Florido is a young virtuoso. Others, – art critics, museum curators, and advanced collectors– have intimately enjoyed his creations and have profusely celebrated the wonder in his imagery… In his wrinkled-unfolded papers, in the luminous presence of his meadows, in his romantic still life offerings, we witness an art suffused with a signature lyricism, a poetic feel that unmistakably embraces and moves the viewer”.