Art celebrates love, not war

L&A sheds a tear at Cernuda Arte

To Pat Benatar, it’s a battlefield. Huey Lewis sang about its power. It comforted Shakespeare like “sunshine after rain.” And to Cuban artist Demi Rodriguez, love is everything – a philosophy that she happily illustrates at this month’s exhibit at Cernuda Arte in Coral Gables.
Rodriguez, who goes simply by Demi, captures the tenderness between she and her husband, Arturo Rodriguez, in her exhibit Everything for Love. It’s from him that Demi learned how to paint, and her works are a happy illustration of the joy of their marriage.
Brimming with idyllic representations of nature and celestial imagery, Demi’s work is a spectacular feast for the eyes. She paints with intense colors, a combination of deep ceruleans, sumptuous reds, and lush green forests. Glittery paint even makes a coy appearance in a handful of pieces, including “Alone with the Butterflies” and “The Wedding.” The effect adds a stunning gloss to the emotions of her work.
Love is a festival for Demi, evident in her whimsically ornate details and dainty speckles of color. “Here We Come!” a giddy ode to marriage, shows a couple on a bike being trailed by a stream of flowers. “The Kiss” is a fanciful explosion of color, centering on a kissing couple surrounded by glittery cupids who play with a plump garland of violet blossoms.
This joyous, affectionate exhibit is a breath of fresh air amidst our current troubled times, and the art that imitates the pain. In the endearing “Two Artists in Love,” Arturo lovingly strokes his wife’s hair as the pair lies on a bed of blue blossoms. Two girls dressed in diaphanous white gowns welcome a glowing orb amidst a light-filled forest in “Painters Embracing the Moon.”
“An Artist between Bacchus and Venus” could have been lifted out of Klimt’s sketchbook, with its enchanting gold outlining and smatterings of color. The painting depicts Arturo and the playful god of wine, and Demi as a rather reserved Venus.
The self-explanatory “Artist with Fireflies in His Hair” portrays Arturo in his childhood days, luring the insects in with sugar. Sensually tinged, “A Painter and a Model” features Arturo as the artist, painting his nude wife as she holds a peacock.
Says Demi, who now resides in Miami, “I have found that there is more to life than pain…that love is all-powerful and can do wonders.” This gorgeous celebration of marriage, companionship, and true love is a stunning showcase that will certainly put a song in your heart – something much needed these days.
Everything for Love runs through May at Cernuda Arte, 3155 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables. For more information, call 305-461-1050.

Jessica Misener can be reached at