Ileana Tolibia: The Impossibility of Nostalgia

The South Gallery will feature the paintings of Ileana Tolibia in her solo exhibition, The Impossibility of Nostalgia.

Ileana Tolibia is a Cuban-born artist based in Miami, Florida. She is known for her evocative and richly textured oil paintings that delve into the intricacies and paradoxes of human emotions. Her works can be characterized by the skillful and unexpected layering of ambiguous mixed images, which are inspired and chosen from nature, dreams, memories, art history, poetry, mythological and folkloric stories, photographs found in books and magazines, and even from social media. Through painting she metaphorically explores how sensory perceptions shape our experiences of our environment, leading us to become aware of complex interconnections, correlations, and congruences. As rapid technological advancement is aggressively changing the ways in which we interact with and engage our surroundings, Tolibia's vivid works, filled with swirling fluid brushstrokes, encourage viewers to engage in a reflective journey through memory and sentiment.

For the past three years, I have been thinking a lot about my life - things or questions such as: What happened? Where am I now as a result? and What is there still from all of it for me now to create art? Remembering "the old" of my grandmother and seeing "the now" of my grandmother dying during the pandemic increased my awareness about the fragility of life. I felt connected to my work more than ever before. Maybe I am getting old. But these all brought me emotions of nostalgia. The feeling of an idealized past and the longing for things that no longer exist. Spending countless hours playing with my daughter while realizing the Time in which she is growing up, made me revisit my childhood and my smooth and bumpy long-lasting ride as an immigrant. - Ileana Tolibia

Ileana Tolibia graduated with honors in 2006 from the New World School of the Arts, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and a minor in Art History. She later received a Master's in Studio Art from the University of Miami in 2022. Tolibia's art has been featured in various exhibitions including the University of Miami Art Gallery, Zones Contemporary Art Center, MAC Art Galleries, Inside Out Project Ft Lauderdale, and Art Basel Miami Satellite Fair.