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statement/bio

ARTIST STATEMENT
Welcome to my online art gallery where you will find original prints, paintings and mixed media works created in my studio.

I was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in the south of the island, a region famous for its rich rum, its aromatic coffee, its colorful folklore and its breathtaking landscapes. As a child, my family moved to San Juan but part of my heart stayed in the south. My profound love for nature started in infancy and has tinged the way I see the world and what my role in it should be.

I was raised in a family of artists. Money was always scarce but, nevertheless, we had a rich upbringing. My father, artist Carlos Marichal, and my mother, writer and actress Flavia Lugo, always promoted our love for art, music and literature, as well as pride in our roots. I always knew I wanted to be an artist. 

I've travelled widely and have lived in Barcelona, London, Boston and Los Angeles. Every one of these cities and the countries they are part of have also left a deep, indelible mark in me and have helped form what I call my cultural baggage. I am Puerto Rican to the core but also consider myself a citizen of the world.

Puerto Rico has a long and rich printmaking tradition and, as an art student, I was swept away by the range of endless possibilities it offered me. I was fortunate to have as mentors and professors some exceptional visual artists and filmmakers such as Lorenzo Homar, Antonio Martorell, Myrna Báez, José Alicea, Luis Hernández Cruz, Antonio Navia, Jack Delano and Saul Levine .

I love experimenting with different media and use techniques such as woodcut, linocut, etching and monotype and combine them with drawing and painting in many of my works. It is exciting to discover how different mediums complement and inform each other in order for magic to happen. 

My main goal as an artist is to create suggestive and expressive works that go beyond mere surface and content. I feel I'm most successful when the work reveals new possibilities I had not anticipated.

I usually attack the chosen surface - wood, linoleum, copper sheets, canvas, acetate or paper directly. For me the process is as important as the end result. I like the freedom and risk involved in letting go.

My prints, paintings, films and mixed media works explore two predominant tendencies that sometimes coalesce and sometimes manifest themselves separately: my interest in expressing social, political and environmental concerns and a more introspective and primal desire to explore my personal visions.

Tree-like and organic forms often populate my more personal works. Trees have a deep significance for me. They are symbols of our need to be rooted and safe but also of our desire to transcend our limitations and branch out into the cosmos.



Printmaking is one of my favorite mediums because it allows for endless experimentation and configurations. It is also the utmost democratic art form.

I often print variations using the same plate. This method allows for wonderful explorations and learning experiences that enrich and expand my range as an artist.

I've been also experimenting with the combination of printmaking and encaustic on Japanese paper. A wondrous translucence is achieved by applying wax to the print. This technique can also be adapted to create sculptured paper forms. I'm only beginning to explore the possibilities this new method offers.

In these past few years, I've also been using digital software to create animated works using my prints and mixed media works. I'm also experimenting with digital sound recording programs to create music for these virtual animations.

Bio

Poli Marichal utilizes different mediums such as printmaking, painting, mixed media, film and video to make works that explore social, personal, political and environmental issues. She has a B.A. in printmaking from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de San Juan, Puerto Rico and a MFA from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.

 She has done print residencies at Serie Project in Austin, Texas, The Rafael Tufiño Printmaking Workshop in New York City and the Social and Public Art Resource Center in Venice, California. Marichal, who is considered one of the pioneers of experimental film in Puerto Rico, has been recipient of grants from, among others, The Rauschenberg Foundation, The Puerto Rico Film Commission, the Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship, the Massachusetts Council for the Arts Media Grant and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has participated in print portfolio projects with Arceo Press in Chicago, Self-Help Graphics and Art in East LA, the University of Puerto Rico and Consejo Gráfico, among others. 

Her prints and/or animated experimental shorts have been included in many curated exhibitions, such as: Animation+Printing, Center for Book Arts, New York City, NY, 99 +1 = la centena, at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón Gallery in San Juan, Puerto Rico, SGCI Animation + Printmaking Showcase, Grey Box Gallery, University of Oregon, Homenaje a Lorenzo Homar print portfolio, Casa de Las Américas, La Havana, Cuba, Divisions, Reflections and Shadows, Duron Gallery, SPARC, Venice, Poli Marichal – Grabando Surcos, Galería de Arte, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Layers of Identity II, Jerusalem Print Workshop, Israel,  La Xilografia, Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton, CA, Pacific States Biennial National Exhibition, University of Hawaii at Hilo, En Papel – Contemporary Latino Printmakers, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco, Wall Power – limitless prints, at the Brand Library Galleries in Glendale, Southern California Printmaking at the Palos Verdes Art Center, Expanding the Matrix, at Weingart Gallery in Occidental College, Caras Vemos, Corazones No Sabemos: The Human Landscape of Mexican Migration at the Fowler Museum, UCLA,  the Haggerty Museum of Art – Marquette University and the Snite Museum at the University of Notre Dame.  A selection of her award winning experimental films was featured in the retrospective exhibitions: Rewind, rewind, four decades of experimental film & video at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Big as Life, An American History of 8mm Films at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. One of her experimental films, Los Espejismos de Mandragora Luna, was chosen to be part of the Getty PST:LA-LA exhibition, Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985, at the Hammer Museum 2017-18. She is also one of the experimental filmmakers featured in the Filmforum screening series and bilingual publication Ism, Ism, Ism – Experimental Cinema in Latin America, curated and edited by film scholars Luciano Piazza and Jesse Lerner. This project was also sponsored by the Getty PST:LA-LA series of events about Latin American art taking place in 2017-18.