Working across painting, sculpture, and photography, Loriel Beltran’s practice reveals the materiality of built environments and engages the labor behind their making. Inspired by the luxury high-rises transforming Miami, Beltran often works with discarded and found objects to create new histories of the city. Shipping crates, marble countertops, layered paint residue, or wheat-pasted advertisements are repurposed to generate dynamic new forms. Emphasizing the found quality of his materials and the process of scavenging for discarded objects, Beltran critically reflects on the ecological and economic impact of our urban landscape.
Beltran’s “Hurricane Patterns” series (2005) depicts makeshift repairs to the damaged exteriors of high-rise office buildings on Miami’s Brickell Avenue after the city was hit by Hurricane Wilma on October 24, 2005. One of many storms in a long and devastating hurricane season that year, Wilma cut power to a record 3.2 million Florida homes and businesses, provoked extensive flooding, caused severe infrastructural damage, and infamously shattered the windows of Miami’s iconic skyscrapers. Beltran’s Hurricane Patterns #2 features an image of the Greenberg Traurig office tower on Brickell Avenue. The windowless voids and plywood patch repairs form a pockmarked and pixelated grid. Exposing the vulnerability of Miami’s impressive landscape, Beltran brings critical attention to the contrast of Miami as a global business and real estate mecca and the threat of natural disaster that looms.
Loriel Beltran (b. 1985, Caracas, Venezuela) cofounded the Miami-based gallery Noguchi Breton (formerly named VersaceVersaceVersace in 2016, and GucciVuitton in 2013–15) together with artists Domingo Castillo and Aramis Gutierrez. His work has been exhibited at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami (2019); Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (2018); DiverseWorks, Houston (2016); Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (2015); Pérez Art Museum, Miami (2014); Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia (2011); and the Museo de Arte Acarigua-Araure, Venezuela (2008), among others. Beltran earned a BFA from the New World School of the Arts in Miami, where he currently lives and works.