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ARTIST PROFILE: CLAUDIO MARCOTULLI, LAUNDROMAT ART SPACE

Written By Josie Gulliksen
October 17, 2023 at 5:26 PM

Claudio Marcotulli working on a light piece at his studio at Laundromat Art Space in Little Haiti. Photo courtesy of Claudio Marcotulli.

Venezuelan artist Claudio Marcotulli likes to straddle the worlds of film and art in his work because he’s deeply rooted in both.

The son of an art collector, Marcotulli began building model airplanes as a kid, inspired by his Dad who he says, “is really into craftsmanship.”

Marcotulli originally had a space at Mana Contemporary in Wynwood from 2019-2020 which he shared with fellow local artist Laurencia Strauss. He left Mana and moved into a studio at Laundromat Art Space in Little Haiti in 2021.

“I moved into Laundromat very soon after I left Mana. My wife Roxana Barba, a fellow artist, showed me the space at Laundromat,” he said. He immediately liked the convenient parking right out front and it is also closer to his house.

Spectrum Collider, Wood, metal, plastic, LED lights 23” x 102” x 12”. Two opposing and colorful structures meet in the center with what seems to be an eye. Photo by Michael Lopez.

Aside from creating art, Marcotulli teaches film production as an instructor with the Florida Film Institute. Through FFI, he goes to Hialeah Gardens and South Miami Senior High Schools once or twice a week to teach film production to high schoolers. Marcotulli has a masters degree in film and production from Miami International University of Arts & Design.”

Artist Marcotulli applies his film school knowledge to enrich his visual art, creating a fusion of both disciplines.” Marcotulli says “it’s bringing what I learned in film school to the visual art world.”

And those colliding worlds are obvious in so much of his work, particularly his collaborations with Strauss, who met Marcotulli while both were doing a residency in Chiapas, Mexico in the summer of 2018.

“We became fast friends at the residency because during a residency you’re in a new situation and connect with people. You step out of your daily routine and that helped us become good friends,” said Strauss. “We kept in touch when we returned to Miami.”

She recalls when the two shared a studio space at the 777 International Mall in Downtown Miami and decided to collaborate on a project that incorporated film.

“The project titled “Alinco” featured a film by Francisco Huichaqueo of Peru, a visual artist and filmmaker Claudio and I met while at the Mexico residency,” said Strauss.

The trio were brought together through their advocacy for social and environmental rights, particularly the value of people, land and water.

Marcotulli and Strauss again collaborated, along with Marcotulli’s wife Roxana Barba, also an artist, on a piece at Laundromat in Little Haiti. The project was called “Fragmented Inner-middle and Upper Worlds” and was part of Laundromat’s 2021 show “Imaginary Reality Artificial Landscape.” The show was curated by Yi Chen Hsieh.

The two also collaborated on a show at Bridge Red Studios and during that project “we evolved the conversation and he invited me to curate ‘Vessels of the Unconscious’, his resident artist show at Laundromat,” Strauss said. “The curation of Vessels was fun, I love discussing work with the artists.”

While curating the Laundromat show for him, Strauss focused on Marcotulli’s thought process and encouraged him to edit his work.

“I’m trained as a landscape architect and so through the show we were creating a spacial experience and trying to edit things so we could think through the viewer’s experience,” Strauss said.

Flight of Colors – Wood, metal, plastic, LED light, TV monitor 125”L x 17”W x 15”H which was on display at “No Vacancy” on Miami Beach. Photo courtesy Claudio Marcotulli.

Although Marcotulli’s work is very mechanical, Strauss says it also has a very intuitive aspect to it. “There’s a rationality but also a mechanical aspect to his work. With him, it’s a very personal and existential experience. I feel that is what is so compelling about his work, the rational and less rational side of him.”

Marcotulli has also collaborated with Dale Andree, director of National Water Dance, several times, once filming dancers in the water in The Everglades. That film “Flickering Glades,” was presented during Screendance Miami Festival and also on a loop at the AIRIE (Artists in Residence in the Everglades) space.

Marcotulli says camera obscura is what he’s obsessed with: “It’s what I use to create my projects, it was like a revelation for me, how we see things, our vision and the physiology of it. Through it, I can find a deeper meaning of the work.”

His fascination with eyes is why he thinks it is the most amazing organ and how we as human beings “have been able to master the camera obscura and make telescopes,” as he explains it.

Claudio Marcotulli and wife Roxana Barba at the Apuntes Americanos performance they presented at La Alianza Francesa in Lima Peru 2022 which they will present at Koubek Center in Little Havana Oct. 27 and 28. Photo courtesy of Claudio Marcotulli.

Always working on a new project, Marcotulli’s next collaboration will be with video and sculpture for a performance called “Apuntes Americanos-Kanay” directed by his wife Roxana Barba, taking place at the Koubek Center in Little Havana October 27 and 28. The piece, which had six presentations in Lima Peru in 2022, brings together a total of ten dance performance, music and visual arts artists.

Always staying busy, Marcotulli is again working on a collaboration with his wife. Entitled In my center, a cyborg seed, it is a performance utilizing motion-tracking and projection-mapping that deals with our relationship to technology, myth and the future. Premiering in 2024, this work is directed by his wife Barba and is one of six 2022 Knight New Works.

In residence at Laundromat since 2021, the gallery’s Director Ronald Sanchez says “it’s imperative for artists like Claudio to have a studio space, where they can develop ideas and turn them into works of art.”

The solo show Strauss curated for Marcotulli is something Sánchez says all artists are entitled to propose after a year of residency because, “it allows for people to focus solely on the artist’s work and see their and understand their voice and vision. Following the solo exhibitions ,we attempt to map if an artist continues receiving attention and is invited to other solo or group shows, essentially launching their careers to great heights,” Sanchez said.

Claudio Marcotulli welcomes studio visits; click to visit the Laundromat Art Space and learn more about this artist-run, independent space located at 185 NE 59 Street, or you can also visit his website at claudiomarcotulli.com.

ArtburstMiami.com is a nonprofit media source for the arts featuring fresh and original stories by writers dedicated to theater, dance, visual arts, film, music and more. Don’t miss a story at www.artburstmiami.com.

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