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Liu Shiming Fellowship at Columbia University: Amadeo Morelos Favela

Amadeo Morelos Favela (born in Mexico, lives and works in New York) graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before advancing his studies at Columbia University, where he completed his master’s degree in art. His academic journey culminated in May 2023, when he was honored with the Liu Shiming Fellowship at Columbia University, underscoring his dedication and talent in art.

Amadeo Morelos Favela in his studio. Courtesy the artist

Amadeo demonstrates his artistic prowess through numerous exhibitions, showcasing his distinct creativity in experimental interdisciplinary works. His art has been showcased in respected galleries and organizations such as the Nassima Landau Foundation in Tel Aviv, Israel, Galeria Leyendeker in Tenerife, Spain, Unit London Gallery in the UK, Rusha & Co. in Los Angeles, and the Half Gallery in New York. As a co-founder of Greendoor, a curatorial project based in Chicago, he is pivotal in driving the local art culture forward. His written works have also been featured in various art publications, including Hyperallergic, Art Maze Magazine, Artnet, ARTnews, and New American Paintings.

In a recent interview, Amadeo took time to reflect on his approaches to art making and color applications. He shared his challenges as a professional artist, as he was thrown into the anxiety before graduating; a trip to the foundry with his father gave him a new impetus to pursue his art. “Experience” is much more prioritized than “deconstruction” in Amadeo’ methodology. In his words, it is “much like a bicycle intended for a journey rather than disassembly.” The inherent meanings of objects and symbols are in themselves poetic enough to provide for infinite reverie, and as he presents in his exhibition Paintings and a Bookshelf (2022-2023), the works themselves serve as tools for exploring the forest in between past and future, the imagination and reality, the figurative and the abstract, navigating people to an undiscovered perception and experience.

View in the exhibition Paintings and a Bookshelf (2022-2023) by Amadeo Morelos, Wallach gallery. Courtesy the artist

Amadeo often uses bright and vibrant colors in his work, subconsciously combining his inner world with the environment he inhabits. His use of color draws inspiration from his surroundings, even deriving from specialized spectrum lights used in Tenerife for plant growth. He says, “I had no idea I was going to paint vibrantly.” He simply empathizes and builds a nuanced perception of the external world with the feelings of his mind and vice versa. His works are versatile and innovative, encompassing mediums from paintings to ceramics and sculptures, demonstrating his unique attempt at color application and forms. His practice is instead a technical but tangible exploration of personal emotions and environmental observations. This creative drive, like the Dionysian Spirit that Nietzsche praised, gives Amadeo’s works the power to conquer and reconstruct the mediocrity of reality, pulling the viewer into a rainforest of sensations.

Amadeo Morelos, Limbo, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 in., 2023. Courtesy the artist

Amadeo resonates with Chinese artist Liu Shiming’s creative process, enjoying an accessible and intuitive approach to exploring different media and techniques. The Liu Shiming Fellowship at Columbia University supports Amadeo’ desire to continue his artistic endeavors in New York, infusing contemporary art with fresh vitality and allure. He is currently working on establishing his own studio in New York and plans to continue focusing on his future projects.

Written by Chirui Cheng

Photo credits to: Amadeo Morelos Favela

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