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Self-Taught Art from Latin America and the Caribbean: The Aldemaro and Ana Romero Collection


Free Exhibition: April 21 to May 19, 2017


Romero Collection Art Work

Quinto M., Venezuela, Simon Bolivar, c. 1980s, painted wood, 16" x 15"


NEW YORK, NY- March 13, 2017 -- The Mishkin Gallery at Baruch College will present the exhibition, Self-Taught Art from Latin America and the Caribbean: The Aldemaro and Ana Romero Collection, from Friday, April 21 to Friday May 19, 2017. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, April 20, from 6:00-8:00 pm.

Self-Taught Art from Latin America and the Caribbean: The Aldemaro and Ana Romero Collection features a variety of paintings and sculptures that were created by artists who lack professional education and training. Among the major characteristics of this art are simplicity, repetition, a geometrically erroneous sense of perspective, and the use of brilliant, saturated colors.

As pictured above, a small sculpture of Simon Bolivar, by Quinto M., is simplified in form, but depicted with a colorful uniform and a sword to emphasize his heroic role as the leader who established Venezuelan independence. In another piece of artwork in the exhibition, Haitian artist E. Marime painted every leaf individually, repeating its shape rather than creating clusters of foliage, for a jungle scene. The intensely colored jungle animals and plants appear stacked in space, without a traditional use of perspective.

Self-Taught Art: Becoming Part of the Art Historical Canon

Although it is sometimes confused with folk art, self-taught art usually lacks a clear cultural context, and it is often hard to identify by its geographic origin. Some self-taught artists are well-known, including the French painter Henri Rousseau (1844-1910), who was discovered by Pablo Picasso.

Now, as self-taught art has become very popular with colleges and museums, it is possible for these unknown artists to become part of the art historical canon.

The Collectors

Aldemaro and Ana Romero are avid collectors of self-taught art and have traveled throughout Latin America. Their collection contains more than 50 paintings, sculptures, and examples of other crafts. The materials used in these artworks are diverse, and include oil paint on canvas, lithography, papier- mache, bark, and wood. The Romero collection spans more than four decades, from the 1970s to the present, and it represents many countries: Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, and Venezuela.

“There are three reasons why my wife Ana and I have had a long-time interest in collecting this type of art. One is the intense colors they usually utilize that reminds us of the color of the tropics which we so much love,” said Aldemaro Romero, who is dean of Baruch College’s Weissman School of Arts and Sciences and professor of biology in the Department of Natural Sciences. “The second one is the authenticity of the artists who show things as they see them without filtering them through any kind of school training.”

Dean Romero added, “The third one is that they always bring us memories of the places where we have either lived or visited.”

This exhibition was made possible by Hedwig Feit, in honor of her mother, Sylvia Lizana Y Parrague. Funding was generously provided by the Schindler-Lizana Fund for Latin American Arts & Cultures at Baruch.

The Mishkin Gallery at Baruch College: Free and Open to the Public

Location: 135 E. 22nStreet at Lexington Avenue, NYC, NY

Hours: Monday thru Friday, noon to 5 pm; Thursday, noon to 7 pm

 Media Contacts: Sandra Kraskin, Director, Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College (646) 660-6652 or Suzanne Bronski, (646) 660-6093,


About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 18,000 students, who represent 164 countries and speak 129 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 4 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to




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