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Enma Saiz is a physician (a pathologist) who is currently pursuing her passion--visual art--at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in their Low-Residency MFA program. She enjoys working in many media, namely video, sculpture, installation, painting, ceramics, print-making, and mixed media collage. As a physician-scientist, she is a keen observer of nature and enjoys incorporating her scientific knowledge into her work, as in Love Beat. As a breast cancer survivor who diagnosed her own tumor microscopically, microscopic imagery also permeates her work. As a woman artist, she recognizes how grossly underrepresented women are in the world of art as well as in other, predominantly scientific fields. In her bamboo series, she depicts women in their plight to overcome their overwhelmingly difficult circumstances. Enma also possesses a unique sense of humor as evidenced by her Purple Dog art, where she showcases Bo, her rescue dog, in different South Florida settings.
My work is driven by the urgency to convey social messages. I use color, pattern, and light in my paintings to convey those messages. I enjoy using bright, hot colors to give a spirited flavor to my work. This is a function of the hot, tropical climate enveloping the island where I was born, Cuba, and where I have lived for most of my life, Miami, Florida. I also use bamboo in my mixed media pieces because I am surrounded by it in my tropical backyard. Patterns also tend to dominate my work, including linear patterns as in the bamboo waveform pieces where sound waves are turned into visual forms with bamboo sticks cut in vertical sound wave patterns. Patterns borrowed from my practice as a medical doctor/pathologist also find their way into my pieces including benign and malignant tissue patterns as seen through the microscope, EKG patterns and patterns in nature--roots, leaves, and feathers. Planning the overall pattern into the design of a piece or watching it emerge also intrigues me, as in the checkerboard pattern of Eleven twenty-seven or the radial pattern of my Mangrove piece. Light also plays an important role, as in the Eleven twenty-seven painting where light from below casts shadows on the sewing machine and on the collapsing boards, creating additional two-dimensional representations in the painting. Light and shadow also play an important role in my installations, including the Fallacy of the Foam piece on migrations across water and in the Yemaya goddess installation.
My latest paintings have been feminist pieces based on my reading of current events. We live in an era where the campaign to defund Planned Parenthood, for example, has reached a fever pitch. Women’s health and reproductive rights are very much at risk worldwide. Happy Golden Anniversary!/She's A Pill, depicting 50 Barbie-inspired characters wearing birth control pill hats and sporting different hair colors, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill and hair color in a box. Eleven twenty-seven depicts the plight of garment workers, risking their safety and their lives to bring cheap garments to market.
After starting the MFA program I embarked on a series of installations which have to do with immigration and the goddess/puta dichotomy. How do "aliens" become "naturalized?" What skins do they have to wear to protect themselves and to blend in? How does religion affect the ability of women to excel in patriarchal societies, where they are perpetually blamed for original sin? How do indigenous beliefs, especially closeness to and preservation of the Earth, play into the patriarchal status quo? I use the work of contemporary artists like Wangechi Mutu, Nick Cave, and Yinka Shonibare to help me combat colonial ideology in my work. I also derive inspiration from Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, Ana Mendieta, Doris Salcedo and Annie Lapin, in no particular order.
My strength as a visual artist comes from the unlimited ideas that I derive from reading, looking through the microscope and from observing nature.
My works are in many private collections throughout South Florida, Texas, Michigan and the UK. Details are available upon request, but names withheld from the website to protect the privacy of the collectors. I have participated in several juried art fairs throughout the years including the St. Stephens Arts Festival held next door to and during the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the Rotary Arts Festival in South Miami. I have participated in group shows including the Field Workshop group show at the ArtsCenter South Florida on Lincoln Road, the BIG! art show at ArtServe in Fort Lauderdale and a Pop-up Art Show at Shake-A-Leg in Miami. I have also had a solo show at ArtServe in February 2016.
Thank you for your interest!