María Magdalena Campos-Pons about the concept and the making of The Rise of the Butterflies
María Magdalena Campos-Pons is one of the most renowned artists to emerge from post-revolutionary Cuba in the 1980s and one of its powerful and poetic voices. Central themes in her work are not only race, religion and class, but also individual and collective histories that emerge from mythologies, traditions and symbols of the communities of the African diaspora.
In her multidisciplinary oeuvre, Campos-Pons uses painting, installation, video, photography, sculpture and performance to tell of life situations and the accompanying metamorphoses shaped by hybrid cultural influences. In her recent exhibition at Galerie Barbara Thumm, Campos-Pons once again reinvents herself and her work. The Rise of the Butterflies is dedicated to Breonna Taylor, an African-American woman whose violent death at the hands of police officers is included in the Black Lives Matter movement.
The artist has been working with glass since 1993, for example in Spoken Softly with Mama (1998), Threads of Memory (2004) and Sugar Bittersweet (2010), in which she processes her personal experiences, the fundamental bond with her family and the cultural history of her native Cuba.