By Melanie Stern - November 16, 2015
Hector Frank at Hotel Chelsea opening night was a fiesta of art and culture. The New York private gallery space transformed into a Cuban experience, the blare of the Caribbean saxophone setting a swanky summer mood. Rum cocktails went all round, readying viewers’ taste buds to devour the Cuban artwork on the walls. Frank’s collection, curated by Cuban art collector Bryant Toth, is a celebration of Cuban heritage, brought forth into the age of globalism. The vibrant contrasting colors and energetic clashing patterns paint the canvas with a Cuban atmosphere. With each piece foregrounding a single figure, the figures protrude against a color-blocked backdrop akin to the Caribbean island. The alienated figures stare at the spectator with Munich-inspired isolation; a heritage forced into the hardships of modernity. Hector uses mixed media to create his figures, incorporating string and metal to some of the artworks.
One piece is electrically powered and depicts a figure whose facial features glow eerily. The assemblage is another aspect that brings the artistry into a global context, being a technique developed by modern artists and a reference to the industrial revolution. In this way, the opening event expressed the epitome of Frank’s work. Hotel Chelsea, famous for hosting distinctly American cultural figures, is now decorated with palm tree centerpieces. The Rum-scented New York space functions as the literal expression of the concrete jungle Frank conveys through his work. The exhibition is showing until November 20th at Hotel Chelsea, 222 w 23rd street, NY.