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Institute of Contemporary Art Miami


Dalton Gata
Fiesta 2, 2019

Acrylic on canvas
55 x 140 in.
Museum Purchase with funds provided by Helen Kent-Nicoll and Edward J. Nicoll
Image credit
Photo by Phillip Karp
Dalton Gata Fiesta 2, 2019 Acrylic on canvas 55 x 140 in. Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami Museum Purchase with funds from Helen Kent-Nicoll and Edward J. Nicoll

Puerto-Rican based, Cuban-born painter Dalton Gata creates radically inventive images that explore queer and popular culture as well as psychological and mythical symbols. Trained as a fashion designer, Gata reimagines craft and its relationship to identity and sexuality, creating complex narratives that bring to life his own experience of immigration and the Cuban and Caribbean diaspora.

This large-scale work assembles an eclectic cast of expressive characters in black and white. Rendered in a dramatic style reminiscent of fashion illustration, an empowered contortionist clothed solely in knee-high boots, a glorified mythical half-human creature, and two cheeky male figures stand together as if in a celebratory parade of difference. Gata often uses the motif of people waiting in line to suggest a broad array of people coming together temporarily. The artists notes, “From the delinquent to the whore, to the chemical engineer and nuclear physicist, even the professor, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you studied, or anything. The whole world unites in that line.”

Dalton Gata (b. 1977, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba) graduated in 2005 from the Altos de Chavón School of Design in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with a BFA in fashion design. ICA Miami presented his first solo museum at ICA Miami in 2021. His work is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Gata lives and works in Coamo, Puerto Rico.