Marilyn Rodriguez (USA/Puerto Rico)

October 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

 be still mine time. Mixed Media: 17 in x 19 in, 43.18 cm x 48.26 cm, 2012. 

 My art portrays the sorrow, pain, and confusion that families go through. I strive to use materials that connect with the content and subject matter. Within many of my works I crop, pick, and gather together many different drawings of various moments of human behavior. I then use these to create a story that becomes present to the viewer as some kind of struggle that is relatable to the human experience. My work relates to the uncertainty of life and how these experiences will always be prevalent.

Rafael Rosario Laguna (Puerto Rico)

October 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

El Botiquín. Medicine Cabinet, Amulets, Pill Bottles: 12 in x 8 in x 8 in, 30.48 cm x 20.32 cm x 20.32 cm, 2012. 

 Carpe Diem

7:30am David brings coffee

8:00am Go to medicine cabinet, wash the essentials, take or not take a shower

8:20am Oatmeal and NY1 News

9:00am Breathing exercises

9:28am Back to medicine cabinet

9:30am Open laptop, work, listen to the phone ring as the day goes by

2:00pm Back to medicine cabinet

2:20pm Off to studio in Brooklyn

3:00pm Arrive in Brooklyn, have a cortado and a chipotle turkey sandwich in the studio

11:00pm Back at the apartment, back to medicine cabinet, wait for Morpheus’ arrival

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

7:30am Again, David brings coffee

8:00am Go to medicine cabinet, again…

In Medicine Cabinet I have filled pill bottles from New York City and Puerto Rico with amulets from Southeast Asia. Placing them inside an old medicine cabinet, I explore how science and superstition are used to relieve suffering and discomfort. Is there some scientific value in superstition? Is there an effect of superstition that confounds science? Is belief what links the magical to the medical? Ultimately, Medicine Cabinet is a repository of hope.

Erick Sánchez (Puerto Rico): CARPE DIEM & GENESIS

October 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Me diste oro del que no brilla. Acrylic, Emulsion, Calcium Carbonate, Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Carbon, Graphite, Glass Beads and Pigments on Canvas: 60 in x 72 in, 152.4 cm x 182.88 cm, 2012.

The large scale and heavily textured abstract-expressionist paintings and installations that compose the series Dangerous Land are my response to environmental and social worldwide contemporary issues. This body of work suggests an unstable land in danger of disappearing. It is intended to trigger introspection and to create awareness about the consequences of global warming, globalization and other consequences of human behavior and the concomitant natural disasters which extinguish life and nature. If we don’t do anything to change our behavior, these images will be our destiny.

In this ongoing project, I make reference to biblical passages, classical literature, modern poetry, and other literary works as they influence my art. The materials I’m using in this series of paintings and installations are liquid and powder pigments in raw, various acrylic mediums, emulsion, carbon, recycled rubber and glass, urethane and stainless steel among many others.


Learn more about Erick’s work as an artist entrepreneur in Forbes Magazine:

The Artist Entrepreneur: How Technology is Transforming the Art World

By Veronika Sonsev, CEO Founder of, an ecommerce technology company. She is also a co-founder of Women Innovate Mobile, a technology accelerator focused on female founders.

Marta Sanchez (USA/Mexico)

October 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Thanksgiving on Seguin St. Oil Enamel on Metal: 36 in x 36 in x 48 in, 91.44 cm x 91.44 cm x 121.92 cm, 1999. 

 Memories of an ideal Thanksgiving complete with fans flurrying, dogs barking and various of tables to spread our dinner, from diner tables to card tables and dixie cups living life to the fullest regardless. What we as a family had was more about resilience.

Maria Schneider (Spain)

October 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Just Go (to the Unknown). Mixed Media on Canvas: 30 in x 34 in, 76.2 cm x 86.36 cm, 2012.

 In this work, I explore the importance of the evanescent moments and what seizing the day means now. “If not now, then when?” Burlap and gauze cloth symbolize the fragility and roughness that surrounds certain decisions in our lives.The crumbling buildings and teared financial newsprint pages, symbols of a uncertain world, cover pictures of people leaving. It is now, or maybe never – one has to seize the moment and just go. 

AR-L: How long have you been painting and how did you develop your abstract style?

MS: I started painting about 15 years ago, but it has been in the last 10 years when I really felt I just had to paint.  I was in the corporate world, from banking to consulting.  I started attending local art centers and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts –Painting, drawing, color….Then I moved to New York and registered at the Art Students League.  It was a new, marvelous world to me.  There were people from all walks of life and a common theme:  Art. I loved it. I decided then I really wanted to paint. It made me feel so alive! Art became my self-expression.

My abstract style developed from my years at the Art Students League, my influence from the corporate world, and my deep interest in world events- current and past, and our perception of those events.  My first paintings of bulls started with the classical drawing and painting- line, color.  But suddenly, I felt that all the images conjured into my subconscious – financial events, economic symbols, iconic images from history – were rushing out.  I was also influenced by Roland Barthes idea of different layers of meaning.  The bulls are not just bulls but symbols that convey different meanings.  It was like a pour of words without talking.  Ideas brew in my mind and rushed onto the canvas.  I am open to all mediums, because all of them are valid ways to express.


The Running of the Bull Market is one of those paintings. The bull is such a symbol of Spain, even when many young Spaniards disassociate themselves from it. It was the icon of the Etruscans and the Minoans.  It is the symbol of the male, the noble, earthy animal, and it is the symbol of wealth and good fortune – the bulls of Wall Street, and the craziness of the financial system.  These bull paintings try to conjure it all.  The newspaper stock quotes intertwine into the drawing.  There are also prints of laws and regulations affixed into the oil paint.  The systems run amok.  But the beauty of the bull remains.

AR-L: What has your experience as an immigrant in the United States been like?

MS: My experience has been positive but I had to overcome stereotypes. But my accent always gave me away.  A few years ago, people did not have a clue where Spain was.  They just accepted the media stereotypes.  This is much better now.  However, I have always felt like an outsider. I remember when I was in the corporate world, I really had to pay attention to my accent.  Having grown up in Spain and with a very lousy musical ear, I had to make an effort  to pronounce correctly so that people focused on  my words not on my accent –  If you do not pronounce correctly, many people assume you are not smart or well educated.  Art became a way to express myself.  Accent did not matter so much.

The United States has given me many opportunities.  You can still be in control of your future.  Coming into a different culture opened my mind and made me work harder.  Being out of my comfort zone, I had to overcome higher barriers and work harder, which helps you in the long run – It takes more energy to come in from the outside.

AR-L: How has the Diálogo 365 initiative impacted your career?

MS: It has been a great opportunity and I am grateful for it.  First, the thematic approach pushed me to incorporate new themes into my work.   It is fascinating to see how one theme can be interpreted in so many different ways.  Diálogo 365 exposed me to a wider audience and connected me to many other artists with a common background. It is not easy to find opportunities where our voices can be heard, where the audience is willing to hear a different tone.  Diálogo 365 has provided that for me.

AR-L: What are some of your current and upcoming projects?

MS: I am working on a new group of paintings of cities and, in particular, my adopted city, Philadelphia.  I am really fascinated by Philadelphia now.  It is one of the coolest cities in the US, with all the pros and cons.  I love its energy and I want to use the images that come to my mind.  In these paintings I incorporate the layers as social strata as I had done with the bull paintings or my more abstract paintings such as My Thoughts on the Spanish Crisis.   I am also working on conceptual sculptures on the economic crisis.  I have a lot of fun making these sculptures.  They pop up in my mind and I have to execute them.  It is a very down to earth process.

I am also very excited about some new materials I am working with – metal, acrylic – and new printing processes.  I am like a little kid that gets very excited about learning and experimenting with new things.

I am also revamping my web page.  I am including my new paintings and sculptures and giving it a fresh appeal.  I will keep on blogging too.  But I want to concentrate on my painting and sculptures.  I have so many ideas….

AR-L: Please share a favorite recipe with our readers in time for the holidays.

MS: There are two simple dishes that I love to cook over the holidays because they remind me of my home:  Roasted Lamb and Rosemary Yams and Potatoes.

Roasted Leg of Lamb

  • Leg of Lamb
  • 3 or 4 medium cloves of garlic (depending on the size of the leg)
  • ¼ cup of parsley leaves
  • ½ cup virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste

The most important ingredient is a young tender leg of lamb.  We call it “Cordero Lechal” because it is just milk-fed.  The day before, crush garlic and fresh parsley in a mortar. As the pestle crushes the garlic and parsley, start adding virgin olive to the mix.  When there is a fine paste, add more olive oil enough to cover well the leg.  Put it in a tray (not plastic) and covered well with aluminum foil or a lid and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hrs.  The next day heat the oven at 400 F. (roast setting).  Place the leg of lamb into an oven-proof tray (best in a glazed clay pot – cazuela de barro), add salt to the leg and some fresh pepper and start roasting.  When roasted on both sides (about 20 minutes on each side) lower the temperature so that the lamb gets done without getting dry.  Use a meat thermometer to gauge doneness, but do not overcooked it.  Cover it with aluminum foil to avoid excessive burning, if necessary.

Potatoes and Yams with Rosemary

  • Orange Yams (2 small per person)
  • Yukon Gold potatoes (2 small per person)
  • Fresh rosemary minced
  • Salt to taste

Once the lamb is in the oven, peel the potatoes and yams and rough-cut them.  Put them in a roasting tray with salt and fresh crushed rosemary sprinkled with olive oil.  Place them in the same oven as the lamb, but not the same pan.  Let them cook together for about 45 minutes.  Turn them once to make sure the roast and do not stick to the pan.

Jacqueline Unanue (Chile)

October 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Inner Codes VAcrylic on Canvas: 36 in x 60 in, 91.44 cm x 152.4 cm, 2012.

 The Inner Codes series originated from my method of “calligraphic” painting: using spontaneous drawing, to evoke a primal mode of communication. I do these paintings from a gestalt conception, connecting with the present time or the here and now. In that way, I am able to create from my feelings more than my intellectual thoughts. Doing these paintings I feel that I am developing my own new magical codes as part of an experience of inner communication. The images I get are a universal yet mysterious writing that directs me to my collective unconscious and reminds me that I have existed since time immemorial.

AR-L: Your work has a calligraphic element that is also very magical and surreal. Would you please tell our readers more about your sources of inspiration and your process as an artist.

JU: While studying design in my native Chile in the 1970s, I became interested in pre-Columbian art, especially in the rock art done in my own country. I was encouraged to do further research by Hans Niemeyer, a renowned archeologist.

I visited the solitary and awe-inspiring valleys, mountains, deserts and rock formations of Chile, which are repositories of this art. I also traveled to Spain to study the caves of Altamira in the Basque country, which being the home of my paternal ancestors connected me to my roots. My former work springs from this research and exploration, and concerns my connection to an ancient past.

Having already these ancient codes inside me, I started doing my current painting I titled: Inner Codes Series. They originated from my new method of “calligraphic” painting: using spontaneous drawing to evoke a primal and pictographic mode of communication. I do these paintings from a gestalt conception, connecting with the present time or the here and now. In that way, I am able to create my own pictograms from my feelings more than my intellectual-thoughts, or my background information.

Pictographic communication allowed the first humans to generate the codes that would later develop in a writing system, and allows me now to discover and develop my own new magical codes as part of an experience of inner communication. The images I get are a universal yet mysterious writing that directs me to my collective unconscious and reminds me that I have existed since time immemorial. 

AR-L: Have you experienced anything different in the way in which you approached last year’s Diálogo 365 (2011) and this year for CARPE DIEM?

JU: This year the Call for Carpe Diem invited me to focus in a more inner way. It was more than dealing with an historical moment as the Bicentennial celebration. CARPE DIEM was really an insightful spiritual inspiration.

AR-L: Would you like to tell us about your upcoming projects – exhibitions, residencies, travels, etc.

JU: I have an upcoming individual exhibition at 3rd Street Gallery, the gallery who represents me in Philadelphia. During January 2013 I’ll be exhibiting there my last series: Inner Codes, consisting in big format acrylic on canvas paintings. During April 2013 I’ll travel to Barcelona, Spain as well.

AR-L: What other artistic work are you involved with that is collaborative in nature?

JU: I am member of the 3rd Street Gallery, a cooperative gallery in Old City Philadelphia. I serve there in a Publicity committee.

AR-L: Since carpe diem also references the harvest, and in preparation for the holiday season, please share one of your favorite recipes with our readers.

JU: PASTEL DE CHOCLO VEGANO CHILENO (Chilean Vegan Corn Casserole)

Chilean Pastel de Choclo is a traditional casserole of seasoned beef, raisins, and olives (similar to the filling for the famous Empanadas de Pino), topped with a thick layer of creamed corn. Since I am vegan, my delicious version has the creamed corn layer (the best part), but substitutes soy meat in place of the beef filling, and tofu slides in place the hard-boiled egg. This is a delicious casserole, suitable as a main course or perhaps a vegetarian-vegan alternative for the Thanksgiving table.


  • 6 ears corn, grate the kernels (you can replace it for a big bag of frozen corn)
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 8 leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Spray oil
  • ½-1 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk (instead of cow milk)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 large onions, chopped
  • ¾ cup soy meat
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 piece of extra firm tofu sliced (instead hard-boiled egg)
  • 1 cup black olives
  • 1 cup of raisins


  1. Spray oil in a large pot. Heat the grated corn, (or frozen corn defrosted, and grounded in a blender with a bit of soy or almond milk), chopped basil, and salt
  2. Add the cornstarch and the soy or almond milk little by little, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
  3. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Set aside while preparing the soy meat filling.
  5. Fry the onions in a bit of water (instead oil) until transparent, add garlic cloves and ground soy meat (previously cook the soy meat for 2 minutes and drain) and stir to brown.
  6. Season with sea salt, pepper and ground cumin.
  7. Using an ovenproof serving dish, spread over the bottom of the dish the onion-ground soy meat mixture.
  8. Arrange the tofu slides, olives, and raisins over the soy meat mixture.
  9. Cover the filling with the corn mixture.
  10. Bake in a hot oven 400 Degrees F for 30-35 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Total time: 1hr = Prep time: 20 mins + Cook time: 40 mins. Servings: 12

Kukuli Velarde (Peru)

October 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

I am a Peruvian artist living and working in the United States for more than two decades. My interest has always been to understand our present, that is of Latin America as a whole, and of Peru in particular within the frame of the global contemporary culture – a culture we have often belonged to, more as resources than as creators. My goal is to incorporate our aesthetics of today, which are hybrids of the aesthetics of the colonizer and the aesthetics of the colonized, to the rich history of Western arts, not as isolated elements to be re-plundered but as contributions. We cannot and should not try to revive the past, but as a European or an American artist feels comfortable taking references from Da Vinci to Jasper Jones, I feel comfortable taking references from Paracas or Maya to contemporary Peruvian traditional artists. After all, they are the ones I have always seen first hand, but most importantly, I feel comfortable doing so, keeping in mind what we are in the present so that the work is not a reproduction, but a document of today.

Isichapuitu. Ceramics: 24 in x 51 in x 37 in, 60.96 cm x 129.54 cm x 93.98 cm, 2001.

 AR-L: Are you finding the balance between your artistic career and motherhood?

KV: I totally took care of my Vidita during her first 8 months. I didn’t work much, maybe 45 minutes sometimes to finish up pieces going to a show of mine in Lima, Perú. In those short periods of time her father would take care of her. I nursed her until she was 14 months and in those first months it was intense, I couldn’t and didn’t want to separate myself from her for any longer time. We spent three months in Lima and during our stay my family helped me out so I could do everything was needed for the show, she was bigger and beginning to walk. When I came back to Philly in July I realized that I needed help, otherwise working in my studio was not going to be possible at all. We have now a person who takes care of her 5 days a week, 5 hours every time. I work during that time, the rest of the days is me and my husband Doug. He is a great dad!!

AR-L: How did you come to develop your intermedia style combining painting with ceramics with film, etc.

KV: Oh, I don’t know. I was a painter since a child and used to have shows since I was 10 until the age of 21 of my paintings. Then I left Perú and lived in Mexico, then in the United States where I went to school and that’s where I discovered ceramics. I stopped painting for many years until 2004 when I returned to the medium. I am a firm believer that an artist should do anything necessary for an idea to flourish and if his or her primary medium is not suitable for the idea, he or she should try what ever else is. An artist should always be free.

AR-L: What can you tell us about how your background is reflected in your work?

KV: I am a Peruvian urbanite, lower middle class, daughter of intellectuals who loved their country and its culture dearly, middle age woman. I think you can see all of that in my work. We are the product of our “entorno”, we just have to let it show through

Ar-L: What is your favorite or most preferred medium to work in these days? What medium would you like to try that you have never used before?

KV: Clay and oil painting are my favorites. Clay is immediate, oil makes you think. Clay is forgiving, oil is demanding. I love them for their different characteristics and challenges. I wouldn’t be able to do it without any of them. I would have liked to act, acting is an awesome medium. Haven’t done much in that realm, next life!

Kukuli Velarde is currently represented by Barry Friedman, Ltd. Learn more about her powerful work @

Ana Vizcarra Rankin (Uruguay)

October 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Benefit Dinner Plates (Five of Disks)Mixed Media on Canvas: 84 in x 112 in, 213.36 cm x 284.48 cm, 2012

Over the last two years, I have been painting world and star maps that share the common element of being oriented with the South at the top. This inversion of the traditional orientation (that originates with the cartographers of colonizing forces, and was questioned by one of my influences, Joaquín Torres García) symbolizes a reconsideration of our relationship to the planet, its other inhabitants, and the socio cultural status quo. The analog process of “free-handing” maps from memory and the rough-hewn physicality of the art objects they become are in dialogue with the increasing virtualization and mediation of the way we perceive distances, spaces and ourselves; it is my way of tangibly grasping the now and investigating my own awareness of where and when I live.

Marcus Zilliox (USA) ~ Diálogo 365 CARPE DIEM

October 25, 2012 § Leave a comment


 The smoke is fleeting, yet the carbon black is one of the most lightfast and longest lasting of pigments used by humanity (e.g. the caves of Lascaux). Therefore, as a medium it contains both the fleeting moment and the taste of immortality, a timeliness and timelessness, corporeal and incorporeal in the same moment, living in the moment, but lasting longer than a lifetime. It is Carpe Diem. And it is Mememto Mori, embedded in each stroke is Seize The Day Because You Will Die.

Calavera. Smoke on Canvas: 10 in x 8 in/25.4 cm x 20.32 cm, 2012.


Diálogo 365: CARPE DIEM Catalog PDF available for download!

October 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

The 2012 Diálogo 365: CARPE DIEM catalog is available for download via the following link: Dialogo 365: CARPE DIEM Catalog