The Art of William Oberheiser Now at Miami Beach Botanical Garden
The Miami Beach Botanical Garden is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition, Miami Contrasts and Harmonies: The Art of William Oberheiser. The public is invited to meet the artist and view his work at a cocktail reception on Thursday, November 10, from 6pm-9pm.
The vibrant color, joyfulness and sensuality of nature burst with energy in the paintings and prints of William Oberheiser. In a return to Neo Tropicalismo the works, in watercolor and gouache, explore the visual imagery of Miami and the Caribbean, their narrative, nature and cultural diversity. At the same time, the narrative often suggests a deeper meaning, raising questions through unlikely juxtapositions, unexpected pictorial style, or even a strategically placed single image.
As described by art historian Dr. Carol Damian, “it is evident that he has used the tropics as a key visual element in describing a range of scenes that go beyond the pleasantly pictorial to comment on a variety of social and cultural subjects. The paintings are bright and colorful but looks can be deceiving and the frequent appearance of so many birds often contracts with cityscapes, crowded and alive, and other activities that represent the diversity of daily life, especially in South Florida. Are the birds watching their world disappear? Do the cities tell a new and different tale as they pave over nature? Amidst the exuberance of Oberheiser’s images, there is a story revealed beneath the façade.
Featuring different themes, the paintings often come to life from a perspective less pleasant. There are volcanic eruptions that warn of the political, social and environmental instability that plague our world. His cityscapes present a dynamic visual urbanism, while asking questions about what lies beneath their dynamics – and sometimes he uses traffic jams to further exacerbate the city’s and society’s woes. Oberheiser’s works offer a bird’s eye view of life below, as if the viewer rides in a helicopter above and looks down. It is left to our imagination to interpret their meaning or just enjoy the vibrancy of his colorful tropical scenes.”
More on the artist
Born in Havana and having graduated with a degree in fine arts from the Pacific N.W. College of Art in Portland, Oberheiser is inspired by his years living in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and now Miami. His artwork has been featured at the Portland Art Museum, The Alternative Museum in New York City, the Instituto de Cultura in San Juan, Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Vero Beach Museum of Art and numerous art galleries as well as private collections.
Miami Contrasts and Harmonies: The Art of William Oberheiser will be on display in the Garden’s Butterfly Gallery through November 20, 2022. To RSVP for the exhibition opening, please visit mbgarden.org/events.