Ernesto Kunde was born and raised in Paraíso do Sul, Brazil in 1973. After a brief stint re-discovering his family roots in Germany (where he worked in agriculture in Mosbach), Kunde returned to Brazil in 1995. There, he continued his work in agriculture and began his artistic journey by experimenting with works on paper: drawings and controlled coffee stains. In 2006, Kunde moved to Miami, where he found new inspiration in the local environment. Since then, Kunde has expanded his aesthetic focus into painting on a diverse range of surfaces. Most recently, Kunde’s work has centered on the tangled landscape of mangroves. He displays a keen eye for interpreting his tropical surroundings maintaining a colloquial tone: the vital elements of Miami as a natural and urban biosphere are omnipresent for Kunde, appearing on cuts of canvas, linen, found wood, corrugated aluminum, and stainless steel.
Like a journalist or writer, Kunde sees it as an artist’s job to capture a moment in time, to reflect and preserve that moment in a way that accents its singular significance. “In my pieces, I try to highlight the ordinary in a way that makes people take a second look.” Throughout his range of work, Kunde brings a unique perspective, one that draws in the viewer. “Overall, my goal as an artist is to continually evolve, but what I hope remains consistent is that I make paintings that capture people’s attention.” In this exhibit, Kunde explores the interplay of the industrial medium of bent stainless steel with the images of mangroves. “How we adapt to our surroundings and how we influence our surroundings are questions that intrigue me. Mangroves, in particular, such a crucial component of our eco-system, are themselves incredibly adaptive.” Using contrasting tones and the play of light, Kunde’s work creates both an appealing aesthetic and an engaging experience.
Kunde has been an artist-in-residence at the Bakehouse Art Complex (2012-2015), Sedona Summer Colony (Summer 2016), and Franz Mayer of Munich, Germany (Fall 2016). He has shown extensively throughout South Florida at venues such as the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Coral Gables Museum, the Cornell Museum in Delray Beach, Miami-Dade College Kendall Gallery, Sardinas Gallery at St. Thomas University, the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Arthouse 429 in West Palm Beach and the Little Haiti Cultural Center. He has exhibited his work during Art Basel Miami (at CONTEXT, SCOPE, and SPECTRUM) since 2012 and Wynwood Art Fair from 2013-2016.