Carlos Betancourt installation
Carlos Betancourt Installation
C A R L O S B E T A N C O U R T was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1981 he moved to the artistic melting pot of Miami. It is here where the artist, in part, draws artistic inspiration for his glamorous and bold style. Having graduated from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in 1987, Betancourt became an artistic force in the Metropolitan area. Drawing from the energy and panache of both his surroundings and extensive travels, Betancourt uses images of the people and objects in his memories or Re-Collections to create the explosion of work that is his El Portal series.
Much like his previous work, Betancourt’s El Portal Atomic series bends the line between documented photography and art. The artist manipulates the composition by layering and juxtaposing a collage of images to create a finished piece worthy of being a singular object in and of itself.
New to the artist’s oeuvre is sculpture. In Of Cakes and Scrapbooks, Atomic Shopping Cart and Portrait of a Garden I, Betancourt uses a variety of media including bronze, resin and plaster cast. These sculptures are incorporated with found objects and kitsch memorabilia that Betancourt proclaims, “Are [his] world.” Betancourt began exploring the notion of “kitsch” when other artists rejected it. Now, a celebration of kitsch culture can be found in contemporary art. Like a true maverick, Betancourt has already long explored the concept.
In his sculpture, the artist embraces the symbols of his surroundings, finds inspiration in them and treats them as his muse. Betancourt then covers the entire work in a single color of paint that can only be described as “Betancourt blue”. The monochromatic effect challenges the viewer to discern each individual object or view the piece as its own entity. The artist challenges his audience to then take from his collection of memories and relate thier own, while simultaneously taking a glimpse into Betancourt’s memories.
Carlos Betancourt’s artwork is part of such collections such as the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, the Museo de Arte Moderno in Santo Domingo, San Antonio Museum of Art in Texas, the Miami Art Museum, the Bass Museum in Miami Beach, the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami and the Museum of Latin American Art in California.