CORAL GABLES, FL.- Flea markets, thrift shops and attics are what dreams are made of for Cecilia Moreno-Yaghoubi. Dubbed assemblages to reflect the minutiae undertaken in both collecting and creating installations, the artist pieces together discarded materials, antiques and random, found objects to address jarringly familiar topics. Her signature works incorporate dolls that depict religious, political and gender issues. These diminutive figurines are both eerie and revealing, and set the tone for Girl From Cali, an imminent solo exhibition at the Consulate of Colombia in Miami. On October 2, 2009, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Moreno-Yaghoubi will present a provocative collection of assemblages and mixed media paintings that pay homage to her personal journey as a Colombian woman re-made in America. Girl From Cali is free and open to the public.
Ive always been drawn to objects tossed aside by others because of my own feelings of displacement, said Moreno-Yaghoubi. As an immigrant, I have often struggled with ideas of belonging, even after living in the United States for more than 40 years. Girl From Cali bridges the gap between my present home in the U.S. and my birthplace in Colombia, borrowing objects, ideas and memories from a range of life experiences.
Exhibiting at the Consulate of Colombia in Miami roots Moreno-Yaghoubis work in a Latin Diaspora where people save, fix or recycle almost everything for another use, and where religion, feminist and cultural stigmas are ever-present. Whereas her first creations were lush landscapes of her native country, her growing consciousness enabled her to move from representational to mixed media art meant to evoke deeper social questions.
Namely, Restrictive Ties That Bind features a nude Barbie-like doll with overstated breasts, tied with red rope, to a full-dressed figurine with a black fishnet hijab-like stocking that covers the head. I try to address issues like the plight of women in rigid Middle East societies, or similarly, the situation of women in Western countries who live under the cultural burden of beauty ideals and superficiality, said the artist.
Though many of her pieces take a feminist view, installations such as Running for Office emblemizing the 2008 Democratic primary race of Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, or Virgin, which comments on the lavishness and self-indulgence of certain churches, can be traced to her experience as an outsider looking in at American society, or even an outsider reflexive of her own complex background in Colombia. With glue, drills, wire, bits and pieces, Moreno-Yaghoubi builds upon her personal and shared cultural experiences to generate an intriguing dialogue about a range of controversial topics.
Girl From Cali will be on view at the Consulate of Colombia on Friday, October 2 from 3:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and thereafter, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., until October 30, 2009.
Born in Colombia and based in New York, Moreno-Yaghoubi studied at the Art Students League, the National Academy of Fine Arts, the Silvermine Arts Center and Westchester Community College, NY. She has exhibited throughout New York and Connecticut including Origenes Latinos/Latin Roots gallery, The Cork Gallery at Lincoln Center, Taller Boricua Gallery and the National Academy of Art Museum; and in Miami at Opera Gallery with master artists Botero, Wilfredo Lam, Roberto Matta and Antonio Segui. Inspired by artists Joseph Cornell and Robert Rauschenberg, Moreno-Yaghoubi finds poetry in everyday items and powerful messages in forgotten and discarded objects. She currently divides her time between her East Harlem studio in New York and her apartment in Miami, Florida.