Hulda Guzmán. Under the Flamboyán, 2020. Acrylic gouache on canvas. 47 7/8 x 29 1/2 inches. Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, museum purchase with funds provided by Suzanne McFayden
Using vivid colors and tropical motifs, Hulda Guzmán creates paintings that address the specificities of the Caribbean landscape. Often depicting dreamlike compositions featuring figures in uncanny scenarios, Guzmán is interested in the Anthropocene and the contemporary relationship between humans and the natural environment. The artist is concerned with how the Caribbean landscape is rapidly changing due to human interventions including pollution and rapid urbanization. Inspired by the flora and fauna of her native Dominican Republic, Under the Flamboyán presents a luscious, green Caribbean setting. In the painting, a couple lies on the floor near a fountain, and drink from a glass of wine. The couple seems unaware of their surroundings and laugh as they drink. In the left side of the painting, there is a man who plays with or interacts with the cats and other animals in the image. The animal and human figures are relatively the same size, establishing a sense of equality among them. In this body of work, Guzmán embraces nature as the main protagonist, emphasizing humanity’s relatively diminutive role in the ecosystem.