Oils - Restorator
Benito Cerna León was born in the city of Trujillo, Peru, in 1960. Self-taught painter, he has studied Conservation and Restoration of artworks and murals. He has participated in several restoration projects in temples and historical monuments, as well as in private and state collections both in Latin America and Europe. His art sells globally.
Cerna's prompt aptitude for art was a discovery that paid off from the start. Young Benito started trading his pictorial creations to his classmates for treats or meals that he could not afford. As the years went by, he kept on building his path as an artist. During his teenage years, improvising an art and framing workshop, he began selling in the street paintings of decorative motifs that fascinated the weekend tourists, who predicted a promising future.
Moved by curiosity and the desire to delve into art, he wanted to enter the School of Art of Trujillo but did not obtain permission from his parents given his minority of age. But the artist's drive kept growing, and his talent needed to be channeled towards a better course.
Then, shaken by the damage caused by an earthquake that hit his hometown, and seeing the importance of restoration for the conservation of architectural treasures and art, he joined the Casa de la Cultura, that was, perhaps, the door to the world of art and painting that he had been longing to finally open.
It was not long before his extraordinary ability stood out and was discovered by the renowned Peruvian artist Óscar Allaín Cottera, who encouraged him to devote himself entirely to painting, and under his generous wing, presented him to society as the young emerging artist with a remarkable pictorial gift. Benito Cerna's work, mostly done in oil and ink, covers all techniques, from watercolors to oils, and all styles (modern, figurative, abstract), not limiting himself, in pursuit of the permanent enrichment of his artistic identity.
As well as that of his artist friend, Cerna considers that the role of the critic, the dealer, and the galleries was and is transcendental in the path of his art. "Because, if those people, those characters, as well as those who make this book now, do not exist, the gift of art does not expand or transcend." His art has been and is presented in countless exhibitions and galleries all around the world.
Graphic Art - Gallery 118 Director
Fabiana Novillo Díaz was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since her childhood, she wanted to be an artist. First, she thought of being an architect. Nevertheless, her father denied it thinking that it was not quite a career for a woman. But her desire for creativity turned to another art field when she decided to study Advertising & Art Direction, Graphic Design, and Photography a few years later.
She grew up in a militarized Buenos Aires, raised by a poet mother and an inventor father with the most fantastic ideas she ever met.
She remembers that time a chaotic and full of fear on the streets. She was in her teen's age. However, she revives the restraint that stimulated her ideas. Moreover, spread her wings.
She flew to Europe then, worked in Spain, and came back to Argentina to start working in many Art Direction areas for multination companies.
Again, the wings led her to fly to make her art creations seen in different cultures, countries, and art fairs worldwide. Finally, she landed in Florida to start running her art gallery, Gallery 118, girded by great international artists.
She is based now in Ocala, Florida, the US. A beautiful country land circled by nature that she calls the most potent "muse" in her tireless creative process.
Jewelry Designer - Public art curator
Contractual Cultural Programs Coordinator Raquel Vallejo has a background in arts & cultural affairs, event planning, fundraising, institutional development, and project management.
Vallejo is multicultural and multilingual and has lived and worked in the US, Cuba, Canada, and France. She is currently a consultant for the Cultural Affairs Division of the City of Gainesville’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department.
Some of her previous clients include the City of Miami Beach, the City Museum of Washington D.C., and the Miami Center for Architecture & Design.
Throughout her career, Vallejo has worked with renowned artists and musicians worldwide. She is the principal designer of RAVA Designs LLC, a contemporary line, one of a kind studio jewelry marketed privately and to museum stores. Besides, Vallejo is a licensed sommelier, passionate “Cubanista,” global traveler, and epicurean.
Pencil - Watercolor - Acrylic - Oil
Olabamiji Yemi Tubi, commonly known as O Yemi Tubi and known in the art world as MOYAT, was born in 1955 in Ibadan, Nigeria, West Africa.
He studied in the US and obtained the BFA Degree at Valdosta State College, Georgia, where he majored in Graphic Design.
The prolific artworks of O Yemi are creating with various mediums like pencil, watercolor, acrylic, and oil. His works, influenced by Renaissance artists and the current political situation, evoked him to do some of his recent paintings like The Arab Revolution, The Eagle has landed, and many more.
Multi Awarded artist, he remarked the Best Expressionism-Figurative American Art Awards, and "The Eagle has landed" won the Best Political Commentary Art Award in 2014.
He currently lives and works as a Graphic Artist in the United Kingdom, spending much of his free time drawing and painting.
Acrylic - Multimedia - Installations - Sculptures
Vivian Antonini is a talented and award-winning artist best known for her abstract painting designs. Her work has been described as 2D expressionist paintings with a diversity of materials incorporated into her creations, producing rhythm and dynamism in abstract art.
Her focus is on forms, textures, and colors. She paints with her soul, putting in her works, her mind, spirit, dreams. And even her nightmares. Her projects consist of multiple books or series, with various media grouped around specific themes and meanings. Henri Matisse, Robert Rauschenberg, Willem de Kooning, and Ian Davenport are her influence.
Her goal is to create controversial works of abstract art that will engage the viewer into a discussion, a sense of belonging, and an experience that will spark conversations anywhere. It’s a back-and-forth plays between her and the canvas. Her paintings are open to interpretation by the viewer without a route. Viewers need to find a road and have fun looking at them.
Her creativity has led her to expand her works, designing sculptures and installations of art using diverse materials.
She was born in Venezuela and lived many years in Canada, where she became a Canadian Citizen and since 2006 has called Georgia home.
Graphic art - Multimedia
Provocative. Question maker, author of thoughtful and profound work.
Maria Inés Nouzeilles works in contemporary art, feeding back on her medical experience. It brings elements of medicine and re-signifies them. It generates a series of new bodies, the Cyborgs or Cyborns. It invites us to think.
She was born in La Plata (Argentina 1968), where she studied medicine and took ceramics classes. Then she traveled to specialize as a neurologist in the City of Mar del Plata (a spa city 400 km away), where she entered her first art workshop. After completing her training, she moved to Buenos Aires to continue specializing and began the University of Art, where she did not prosper due to job demands. Then she starts her tour of workshops of local artists of international importance. Initially, she drew. Then, coinciding with her pregnancy with twins, she had an exponential turn in her work. She left the charcoal and filled with color, turning to abstraction.
Years later, she temporarily left medicine to dedicate totally to art. She attended the School of Projects, a school of art clinics led by teachers of artists.
This how the Cyborgs / Cyborns series came about, reading Donna Haraway and delving into contemporary art.
From here, she did not limit herself to a technique but to try to convey an idea. In general, taking inspiration from medicine, which she later returned, and permanent feedback.
Many times she takes elements of medicine and re-signifies them. Thus generates a wheel that gives visibility to thoughts and reflections on vital issues and tries to ask questions.
Currently, she lives in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
Self-taught artist Olivier De Pooter was born in September 4, 1972, in Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium. A large part of his life took place in Nivelles where he studied at the Collège Sainte-Gertrude.
Towards the beginning of his adolescence, Art started to take an important place in his life quite naturally. Poetry, writing and painting have been with him ever since.
Later on he discovered the city of Mons, a city full of resources, where he found love and got married. During his walks in the city of the Doudou, Olivier discovered all the richness to be found there in terms of emotions, architecture and stories, that could be portrayed through artistic photography, or rather the art of transforming an image of everyday life in such a way as to give it an impression of unreality or of an impressionist painting.
"Presenting an artistic approach is something so difficult, because each human being perceives what the artist is trying to transpose as he feels it. What one discerns through one’s eyes is unique to each individual…. My way of working with photography, or rather photographic art, is so subjective that describing it is difficult, if not impossible. What I propose to do is simply to explore my vision of the world or rather what I perceive through the lens and to share it."
Acrylic - Oil - Pen - Murals
Sofía Sarmiento is a young and gifted multimedia artist. She (16) was born in Argentina, and lives in between there and the US.
From the age of two, she began a prolific artistic production that her mother, family, and friends still conserve as valuable pieces of contemporary art.
Her trips back and forth to the United States, Europe, and Argentina, stimulated her capacity and curiosity to nurture her artistic ideas.
Raised in a family of creative artists, she is the youngest of three children. Her oldest sister and her hero brother, are both artists that she admires.
As a high school student, her participation in art exhibitions is always a celebration and recognition of the teachers and her classmates who appreciate her work.
She sells her works in the United States, and is also there where she began her first steps into muralism by the hand of the public art curator, Mrs. Raquel Vallejo.
Raquel trusted Sofía to be a helper to the muralist artist, Mr. Mwanel Pierre-Louis, to paint the town's first mural in Micanopy, Florida. Vallejo also encouraged Sofía to paint her first "solo" mural at her own property in Micanopy. The second mural in town.
Her techniques combine drawing, painting, oil, pencil, acrylic, textile art & murals. She is also a jewelry model, and together with her mother, they form an artistic team creating multimedia artworks.
Self-taught, Sofía is very determined when it comes to work. I say she is a top-level art critic, hard worker, gifted and talented artist.
Thank you, Sofi. I am so proud of you.
Fabiana Novillo Diaz
GALLERY 118 DIRECTOR
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