ANDREA CARDENAL

I'm a third-generation Latin American artist. I grew up enveloped in music, art and writing, as I come from a family of Opera singers, painters and authors. I was born in the USA from a Salvadoran mother and Nicaraguan father, but moved back to El Salvador as a child and grew up in the midst of civil war. Throughout my childhood and well into adulthood, making music and art were my forms of expressing emotions too complex to express with words. Since then, I've been a nomad, living in 6 cities, 4 countries and 3 continents. I've also traveled to over 40 countries throughout the years, which has given me a unique perspective into different cultures and inspires my art. 

 

On my recent work

 

During the pandemic, I was inspired to create art that was on the minimalist side, often turning to basic colors, recycled materials, even found objects. I created a series titled Living With Less to reflect on how many of us were living at some point during this time of upheaval. Jobs were lost, incomes were cut, resources were tight, people were isolated and it was -and still is- a time of uncertainty for many, if not most. But what if, instead of focusing on what we don’t have, we focused on the beauty of what we do? My limited palette is intended to highlight the harmonious merging of light and darkness; despair and hope intertwined. For this series I used a variety of mediums to reflect emotions and create texture and depth, highs and lows, valleys and ridges. 

 

But, after a long period of isolation and turbulence, I wanted to bring a little levity to my art. I had not previously been a fan of floral art, but I was inspired to create this series of abstract florals to represent a sense of rebirth and a blossoming of hope to commemorate what it felt like the world was collectively experiencing.
While the colors are bright, there is still a sense of distortion. The flowers are not easily identified, and while you have a sense of familiarity you also get the feeling you are seeing something divergent from reality. This represents the “new normal” to me. Being ready to come out into the light, but the world is no longer the way it was. So much has changed while so much seems to be the same. Familiar yet unfamiliar all at once. 

 

For this latest collection, I worked almost exclusively with acrylics but varied the thickness and texture of the paints, creating layer upon layer to create the background, then the greenery, the flowers and details. Sometimes the paint was watered down to create drips. Sometimes it was a thicker layer to create some texture. Often, I sprayed more water on the thicker paints to create the distortion and drips. Flowers need water to properly bloom, so this is what I decided to give them in hopes that they will bring as much joy to the viewer as they have brought to the creator. 

 

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