Carlos Suenos was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1952. He has been
involved in the creative process since his teens. At the University of Puerto
Rico, where he earned his BFA in 1978, he majored in interdisciplinary research
techniques covering the visual arts, anthropology, mime, theater and dance. He
continued studies under fellowships at the San Juan Arts Students League and the
National Center for the Art, as well as with private teachers.
Carlos Suenos' creativity has been influenced by his studies in
anthropology and the environment. His works deals with the invisible, but always present, aspects of
reality. His landscapes are not passive but rather in constant motion, changing
with the spectator. They dwell in the forging fantasy of future expectations.
They transcend the present into pre-history and into the future, transforming
routines into myths of re-creation.
A resident of New York City since 1978, he has continued independent
studies at museums and libraries. In 1979, he became a member of Robert
Blackburn's Printmaking Workshop, where he continued studies and did independent
research in print making techniques. From 1979-83 he was Curator and Exhibitions
Coordinator for the workshop's international print collection. In 1983, he did
research travel to Mexico. From 1988-90 he was registrar for El Museo del
Barrio's Collections in New York City. In 1990-92 he was appointed Coordinator
and Curator of the Visual Arts Program at OLLANTAY Center for the Arts, in
Queens, NYC. Presently he contributes to several publications with designs and
writings on art and anthropology, in addition to being involved with the study
and production of Tropico Encantado, a ceramic relief now on progress.
The mixed media
technique used in these artworks, a specialty of Mr. Suenos, is comprised of
traditional acrylic painting and printmaking (intaglio and relief). As a
preliminary step for the paintings, the stretched linen canvas is coated with
gesso and acrylic, sanded and recoated several times. This provides a uniform,
porous and flexible surface appropriate for the medium to be used.
The image is created
using traditional acrylic painting techniques with imprints of images from
relief and intaglio plates over dried acrylic. While still fresh, the oil based
etching ink pigment is reworked with brushes, sponges and the artist's hands in
order to merge both media. This process is repeated until the desired effects
are achieved. As a final step the artwork is varnished.
The oil based
printmaking pigment in this process is dense, flexible and adhesive, making
possible its application over acrylic. The final artwork is therefore durable
and stable. Traditional oil painting cannot be used in this process, since it
crystallizes when dry, not being flexible and adhesive to avoid cracking and
peeling when aging.