“Painting is, no doubt the best teacher I’ve ever had.
It pours from within my creative force and goes to the canvas revealing my darker or lighter inner worlds.
Its infinite capacity to show my most intimate layers, evokes a put together game, a psychoanalysis, a search through lost time. “
Miami – Venezuela
About Rayma Suprani
Rayma Suprani is a Venezuelan press cartoonist who was born in Caracas. She graduated in journalism at the Central University of Venezuela and she worked for various newspapers based in Caracas such as El Diario Economia Hoy and the Diario de Caracas.
For 19 years, she published her cartoons in El Universal, but in September 2014, she was fired from her newspaper for publishing a cartoon that portrayed Hugo Chávez’s signature and because it criticized the health care system in Venezuela.
Rayma was awarded the Interamerican Society Press Prize (2005) and the Pedro Leon Zapata Prize as Venezuela Best Cartoonist (2000, 2009). Rayma has also been threatened many times for her cartoons, in which she depicts Venezuelan news.
She is one of the protagonists of the film Caricaturists – Footsoldiers of democracy, directed by Stéphanie Valloatto. In 2015, she gives conferences on the defence of human rights for the Freedom House organization and the Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway.
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Alterations and Identity. Paintings by Rayma Suprani
Icons is the title of the solo exhibition that Rayma Suprani (Caracas, Venezuela, 1969) presents in the City of Miami’s Espace Expression. On this occasion, the pictorial work of the artist explores definitions of identity by displaying a set of portraits of personalities, icons of Venezuela and of the world, who have been influential throughout the history of humanity. Looking at these images in perspective, they seem to revisit the idea of hybridity as a proper form of transformation or deformation of identity.
Under these processes of change, the permeable sinuous treatment characteristic of Suprani’s brushstrokes allows us to visually identify certain people, while other characters embody curious physiognomic otherness when compared to the original image of the person portrayed. In this respect, the notion of alterity in her work should not be understood as a synonym of ‘different’, but rather it implies to see oneself through the other’s gaze to reconcile differences.
Facial variations do not have any symbolic hierarchy. However, the features of Suprani’s portraits suggest that there does not exist an identity of pure or static reference, any identity corresponds to an inert essentialism. In this way she warns us that depending on an individual’s awareness of belonging and/or his/her social experiences, the identity character will be more or less disparate, asymmetrical or discordant.
The somber dark backgrounds from which most of her characters emerge provoke an atmosphere similar to that of a film noir that gradually reveals itself to give way to isolated characters who appear as a metaphor of solitude and emptiness of a world that is fluidly interconnected and diversified.
It is also worth highlighting that the remarkable number of female portraits that make up the exhibition is an allusion to feminist activism that criticizes, among other things, the patriarchal model. These include, for example, the works Queen Elizabeth, 2017; Marilyn Monroe, 2017; Frida Kahlo, 2017; and Amelia Heard, 2017. Suprani also produces Laurel & Hardy, 2017—works that represent a tribute to the Venezuelan artist Marisol Escobar (France, 1930-USA, 2016).
This project has the important collaboration of the Venezuelan master Carlos Cruz-Diez (Caracas, 1923), considered one of the most significant representatives of Kinetic and Op-Art in the world. Both artists, under the complicity of four-hand creation, undertake the materialization of two works specially conceived within the framework of this exhibition to support, along with the rest of the pieces that make up the show, the important effort made by Fundación SenosAyuda to strengthen the health and quality of life for women in Venezuela.
Rayma Suprani, in Icons, appropriates and reproduces on her canvases popular faces spread by the media or migratory flows of image, information and data. Her pictorial work assumes the reconstruction of the image of the other in a format of representation that reveals the ephemeral instabilities and the vulnerability we have before figures of power and laws of control. These elements overwhelm the human figure, identity and imagination that govern the social, the economic, the cultural and the political.