Carlos Betancourt

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Carlos Betancourt (born March 18, 1966), Puerto Rican, generally described as a contemporary artist influenced by the artworks of sensationalist, conceptualist and neo primitive artists, although his work defies specific categorization. He is best known for his glitzy bravado, re-introducing glitter and other colored materials to contemporary art. His ways of bending the lines between art, photography and nature in his large format vinyls, photographs, installations and photo performances are considered highly innovative. His work alludes to issues of memory and beauty, layering and juxtaposing information based on his own experiences, Pop-Culture and extensive travels. He is influenced in part by the works of Ana Mendieta, Bill Viola, Marylin Minter, Cindy Sherman, Damien Hirst, Felix Gonzales Torres, Jeff Koons and Arnaldo Roche.

Life[edit]

He studied at Miami Dade Community College, and graduated from Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.[1]

He has worked as a curator, furniture designer and has collaborated in architectural commissions. His studio, Imperfect Utopia became the Bohemian underground address of the artistic melting pot that was Miami Beach in the 80's and 90's and the studio was visited by some of the most important artists, writers, poets, architects, dancers and musicians of the times, including Julian Schnabel, Sandra Bernhard, Gianni Versace, Morris Lapidus, Liz Balmazeda, Octavio Paz, Celia Cruz, Rudolph Nureyev and Bruce Weber. Imperfect Utopia is considered by many locals to be partly responsible for creating a contemporary arts environment in Miami and Miami Beach,[2] challenging the established system. His artwork continues to influence many contemporary artists locally and internationally.

Mr. Betancourt’s artwork is part of public 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 Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno in the Canary Islands, 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,[3] the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami, the Museum of Latin American Art in California, Museo de Arte de Ponce, etc. His work is exhibited in various galleries as well as art fairs such as Art Basel and Arco. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Florida Department of State Millennium Cultural Recognition Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, and the Miami Beach Arts Council Grant. He has been awarded commissions to create monumental artworks for the Miami-Dade Art in Public Places Trust and for the Puerto Rico Art in Public Places Program. Betancourt is co-founder of 801 Projects, an arts studio center that provides studio space for visual artists based in Miami.[4]

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