Lasting Life: Works by Dominique Paul and José Luis Fariñas

From July 6 to August 5, 2022, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present “Lasting Life,” an elegant thought-provoking two-person show featuring a selection of works by Canadian artist Dominique Paul and Cuban artist José Luis Fariñas. Both artists utilize insects – bees, butterflies, etc. – as a metaphor for the changing nature of human existence. Paul’s opulent photographic prints concern the biological and ecological coexistence of humans and insects, whereas Farinãs‘s intricate ink-and-watercolor drawings deal with the introspective and philosophical implications of their coexistence. The gallery’s summer hours are Tuesday – Friday, 12 noon – 6 pm.


Dominique Paul (b. 1967) is fascinated by the transformation of the human body as a result of physical exercise, plastic surgery, or genetic engineering. This once controversial but now congenial notion of body transformation informs Paul’s fantastical invention of hybrid creatures. She combines the elements of human bodies with those of plants and insects in her “Insects of Suriname” series. The lacy cutouts of bodybuilder’s flesh are buoyed by colorful consumer products, all found in various magazines. These surrealistic scenes of chaos share a background of cutout collage imges of flora and insects by Maria S. Merian, a Baroque-era naturalist. Taking the form of a botanical mandala, Paul strives to express a sense of urgency and questions the durability of the entire ecosphere in these times of human exploitation of the planet’s resources.


José Luis Fariñas (b. 1972) explores the subjects of chaos, infinity, and transmutation in philosophical and biblical allusions in ink-and-watercolor drawings. These images are threaded together through Fariñas’s singular vision of the universe, in which our conflicted reality is successively metamorphosing. Unlike Paul whose work is informed by scientific observation, Fariñas invents an array of symbolic motifs to fortify this vision. He repeatedly portrays a half-human half-insect creature such as a winged old man with insect antennae in nightmarish scenarios, as well as an egg that is metaphorically the birth of the universe. In the mysterious surroundings of human life, Fariñas sees the eternal cycle of our emotional ups and downs without end.


The entomological interest shared by these two artists evokes the imagination of a human child when he/she encounters miniature creatures in a summer field and for the very first time feels them as a prototype of life.


Dominique Paul (b. 1967) lives and works in New York (USA) and Montreal (Canada) where she received a Doctorate in the Study and Practice of Arts from the University of Quebec (2009). Since 2002, she has presented more than 20 solo exhibitions in North America and Europe. In 2012, Paul was awarded an artist-in-residence with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) on Governors Island. In 2015, she had a residency with Residency Unlimited, New York and made a special performance at the Art Museum of the Americas, Washington D.C. In 2017, she has a residency with IDEAS xLab with Ayelet Danielle Aldouby, thanks to The Canada Council for the Arts. She, represented by Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery, feature her work at Paris Photo 2017 and ZONAMACO, Mexico, 2020. Her work becomes part of the Smithsonian Collection (2018) as well as international collections.  Paul has received generous support from Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, Conseil des Arts de Longueuil, Société de Développement des Entreprises Culturelles du Québec, and the Québec Government Office in New York.


José Luis Fariñas was born in 1972 to Spanish-Cuban parents of Sephardic descent. A graduate of the San Alejandro Academia de Artes Plásticas with high studies in the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Fariñas has been included in more than 30 solo exhibitions and 140 group shows both in Cuba and abroad. In the United States, museum exhibitions include the Museo de las Américas, the Mizel Museum of Judaica, (both in Denver); the MDC Museum of Art + Design (Miami) and the Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh. Recently, two art books illustrated by Fariñas for LIBER Ediciones, Cervantes, el soldado and Apocalypsis, received First National Prize for Book of High Bibliophilic Art (2006, 2010) and are included in the German Book Museum’s collection in Leipzig.


For visuals and more information, please contact at 212.268.7132.