It is said that mental models change slowly. In adults those models may not even change much, as people cling to what they believe very strongly. That may be a reason why adults do not learn as fast as children, as they have many mental models that they assume to be ultimate facts. When a person faces a situation where their mental models will not work there is a possibility for learning. This is called expectation failure and it is a way to challenge the intellect to try other models of thinking.

Contemporary art provokes expectation failures, attempting to shake the paradigms of reality and beauty that people cherish the most. As people are confronted with a reality shock they have an alternative to see the world in a different light. The challenge in creating expectation failure opportunities is that mental models carry emotional baggage that when challenged creates pain, controversy and even rage. Emotional responses full of anger, such as destroying the visual image that is provoking such a stimulus or a change in the way people see or think about things, are encountered through out history and across different cultures. Attacking a visual image is indeed a desperate attempt to stop expectation failures and learning opportunities are also stopped when art is removed from public display.

Mental models change slowly, it is said; yet not for some artists, those who constantly confront their own mental models and whose work is a reflection of their own expectation failures. While some artists have created all their visual models by age 40, it is also possible to change those models and the way one think about things.


Excerpt from Latino Brooklyn Artists, 2002

Favorite urban walks: the Acropolis of Athens and el Albayzin overlooking the Alhambra at night; Venice and Florence in the morning, El Viejo San Juan and Madrid in the evening, Montmartre and the Pont Neuf when is sunny; La Habana in Sunday; Las Ramblas of Barcelona with some friends; the Brooklyn Bridge in late Spring; Ia at sunset; San Jose at 7:00 A.M.; the Zocalo in D.F. in my twenties; Vieux Montreal when I want to escape...


Lo vi vendiendo poemas en la calle 14. Sentadito en una sillita, frente a una mesita, escribia usando una maquinilla, papel blanco y tinta negra. Recorde aquellos tiempos cuando yo salia a la calle a vender objetos e imagenes.


Desperté preocupada con preguntas sobre la practica y la teoria del arte. Sabes donde el proceso termina y el objeto (del latin objetum) comienza o donde el proceso se convierte en objeto? Sabes la diferencia entre el objeto y la discusión alrededor del objeto? Y si el concepto se convierte en objeto o si el objeto existe solo en el pensamiento?


One morning I took a bus to Sangri. It is said that "Sangri" is a corruption of "Sainte Croix," which is what the French called the town's monastery. In the entrance of this tiny village of Venetian towers, Byzantine churches and narrow streets, there was a water fountain, like in some old Spanish towns. I washed my face and drank water like if I was doing something that thousand other travelers had done before me throughout the centuries.

After walking around the village and looking at the Mediterranean panoramas and the view of the ruins that the village offers, I took one of the roads just before the entrance of the town. I walked under the sun of the Aegean summer passing ruins, rocks, and olives, that landscape of the Cyclades that I was starting to like.

After a long walk I encountered a small Byzantine church full of frescoes in the interior walls and ceiling. The images were destroyed by the passing of time, but you could still identify the main icons and designs. All the icons were represented with dark skin, like I had noticed in other Byzantine churches.

I am not a very spiritual person, but I could feel that my walk in Sangri was been transformed into a pilgrimage. Somehow after exploring ancient sites I discovered the ephemeral quality of art. I also felt the innate human need of making marks and leaving traces of our existence. In my journey I found something I did not have before, even I am still searching for that object or place that illuminates my understanding of humanity and culture.


Athens, Hydra, Mykonos, Naxos, Santorini, Nafplio, Mycenea, Epidauros, Glyfada

cada uno distinto y colorido.

(Atardecer en el Mar Egeo)


Admitir que Balzac conmovio una vez mas a sus lectores desde la inmortalidad fria y viril sugerida en la escultura de Rodin
Sigo viviendo colgada entre muchos mundos y existencias
Una vez yo me iba por el mundo sin pensarlo. Compraba un boleto de avion y amanecia en ciudades maravillosas: Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, San Jose, Caracas, D.F.... Me iba y caminaba por calles desconocidas y de alguna manera todo salia bien. Confiaba en el mundo y en la gente y hubiera vivido en Matala o en el Montesacro, eran los 20s.

Mis amigos eran ecos, espejos, sombras de mis ideales: humanistas, anarquistas, intelectuales, liberales, agnosticos, poetas y artistas. Luego nos fuimos por diferentes caminos y nunca mas volvimos a dormir en la playa, ni alrededor de una hoguera, ni en un pueblito sin hotel todos amontonados en el suelo.


El arte existe y en la naturaleza de su existencia radica su validez


Dibujo encontrado. 7.31.2007.
Boceto de 40 dias con sus noches:

  • Dia 1: comida palestina, vino y compañia.
  • Dia 2: nada, nada, nada
  • Dia 3: acupuntura, de compras y comida japonesa
  • Dia 4 al 6: arte, arte, arte
  • Dia 7 y 8: ciclismo
  • Dia 9: quien sabe
  • Dia 10: acupuntura, de compras y sentarme en un cafe o en un bar de tapas
  • Dia 11 al 14: arte, arte, arte
  • Dia 15: preparativos para el viaje
  • Dia 16: algo placentero
  • Dia 17 al 18: arte, arte, arte
  • Dia 19 al 33: Grecia
  • Dia 34: nada, nada, nada
  • Dia 35 al 40: quien sabe
Thoughts. He is pessimistic and disagrees on the amount of time I took to obtain an academic post. He argues that I should have been more realistic instead of being part-timing in New York City. When I took time two years ago, to go to the College Art Association Conference, he praised my decision as a step towards a rational life style.

In my new lucid life, every week I spend a few hours studying. I think about the thousands of Fine Arts graduates originally imagining their life as artists, searching for academic jobs and ending up having to negotiate their ideals. Every year, I see artists going into public schools, museums, non-profit organizations, computer design and sales jobs, to name a few.

Is compromising part of life?


el hombre azul y yo
Forty years after the Summer of Love, we contemplate psychedelic works of art at the Whitney; We dress in colorful minidress and pants and we imagine freedom; we see photographs of resistance; we dream with communes, drugs and orgies; we navigate among nudes and flicking lights; we radiate immersed in the color pink and flowers; we commemorate LSD, the lithographs of the Beatles, and Ringo Star with a dove in his finger; we laugh looking at Frank Zappa seated on the toilet with long hair, mustache and goatee; and we imagine everything was better in the sixties... and then, almost as if we have forgotten, we re-discover the photographs of children bleeding in Vietnam...


Née à Porto Rico, Soraya Marcano a
d’abord obtenu un diplôme d’art à
l’Université de Porto Rico avant d’intégrer
le Pratt Institute de New-York.
Elle vit et travaille à New-York.
Elle a participé à plusieurs résidences
d’artistes à New-York, en République
Dominicaine, au Costa Rica ainsi qu’au
Mexique et a obtenu de très nombreuses
distinctions. Elle expose beaucoup
à New-York et à Porto Rico. En 2003,
elle a participé à la Triennale d’Estampes de petit format de Chamalières.
Ses oeuvres sont dans les collections
publiques en Pologne, en France, à Porto
Rico, à New-York, au Panama,
et en République Dominicaine.

...Mon travail actuel se réfère
à des sujets liés à la localisation
et aux déplacements, fournissant
une exploration complexe de la nature
ambivalente citadine post-coloniale.
L’Histoire est mémoire ; elle est
fonction de l’histoire de nos familles
et de nos proches. Ainsi chez les
Portoricains, après la colonisation,
les familles se sont dispersées
dans différents lieux géographiques.
Quand nous nous sommes
transplantés dans ces nouveaux
endroits, nous sommes devenus

Dans mon travail, j’explore
ces notions et tente de confronter
notions simples de race, de
et d’identité nationale.

Soraya Marcano

Biennale Internationale de la gravure
d’Ile de France

Conseil Général des Yvelines



Derivo los temas de mi trabajo de narrativas collectivas y personales, en la medida en que estas se relacionan con la migracion y las vidas mobiles del ciudadano transnacional

En mi obra de arte los materiales variados y combinados cuelgan y se extienden de la superficie, creando capas, bolsas, velos y areas peludas. Alguna de estas imagenes estan relacionadas con temas de la memoria individual y colectiva. Otros de mis trabajos actuales se refieren a temas vinculados con localización y desplazamientos, proporcionando una exploración compleja de la naturaleza ambivalente de los ciudadanos post coloniales. Por ejemplo, después de la colonización muchas personas nos dispersamos a distintos lugares geográficos, cuando nos trasplantamos a estos nuevos lugares, nos convertimos en seres híbridos. En mi trabajo, exploro estos conceptos intentando confrontar definiciones simplificadas de identidad.


Mapping the Tropic of Cancer Position, Location, Place Torrid Zone Between the Tropic of Cancer (about 23 y° N) and the Tropic of Capricorn (about 23 y° S) 18° N Islands Surrounded by Water Active, Extinct, or Dormant Volcanoes Tropical Rain Forests Flora Fauna


How exciting it will be one day telling my students the same zestiest words one of my favorite professors (John Balossi) told us in his retirement speech: “Artists go and have a great life!”


Detalle de una obra de arte en proceso. Materiales: Cartón, tela, bolsa del té que me tomé una mañana, pintura acrilico, hilo. 2007.

Sin terminar. En Proceso. Cosas que comienzo y dejo perdidas.


"It is therefore a little surprising to hear her admit, rather shyly, that opening receptions make her feel a little anxious"

Excerpt: Sum Li. On the Intaglio at Work of art. The Bridge- Leader. Feb. 1997.

Acrilico en tela, hilo, materiales encontrados.


Excerpt: Nick Stillman. El Ritmo Latino del Mundo. The Queens Scene. Dec. 2001


La mesa de trabajo. 2007.


The difference between the formal aspects of our work is vast. You derive your sources from European canons and the Roman city were you grew up. I like to think about my work about something unclassified and uncollectible. Examining our polarities is obvious; less evident and surprising is to identify the dialogue among our work.

Through the years our works have hanged across each other in our living and working space. They seem to understand each other; for example looking at your still lifes from the turn of the century is evident the tension between the three dimensional object and the flat surface and background were those objects are placed. It seems like the interplay between you and me. It is in those boundaries were we find each other, beneath the subject, the technique, or the form, it is in our intentionality that we engage and find each other.

The relationship between two artists behind the studio door is invisible to the audience gaze, but I am convinced that our work is possible because of our relationship and vice versa. As we create through years of togetherness and knowing what we wanted to achieve and how our interaction affect our process and subject matter.

Our first years were tumultuous as our mutual admiration did not stop the harsh criticism among us. I resented your Western art history background, you disliked my favorite artists. We gave each other our own art work as treasured gifts; you went through my garbage to rescue those works I created and then discarted.

We would go to museums and passionately discuss the merits of a piece of art and the state of contemporary art.

Inspiration and ideas also came with our interaction as we took photographs or practice printmaking together. After a few years, we argue about art less and we learned to communicate with less words. Last week, in the "Van Gogh and Expressionism" exhibition at the Neue Gallery we already knew we will love Vincent and Klimt, we also knew that at some point you will make some comments about the German artists and I will overreact for a few seconds but it will not matter because later on we will be mesmerized by a new art work we had never seen before and we will agree about that piece of Egon Schiele. Then we will leave the museum enchanted, in love and knowing that images are stronger than words.

Art work: Daniel Montoya. Oil on wood. 2001


"The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought," wrote Albert Einstein in a letter to the French mathematician Jacques Hadamard, -who also described his own mathematical thinking as largely wordless, often accompanied by mental images.


Can boredom stimulate creativity?
Can creativity help alleviate boredom?


70's San Juan, Miami, New York. 80's San Juan, Caracas, New York. 90's San Juan, La Havana, New York, Miami, Montreal, Mexico D.F., Boston, Washington D.C., Santo Domingo, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris. 00's San Juan, San Jose, Venice, Rome, Florence, Hilo, Lahaina, Madrid, Seville, Granada, New York. (Cities)

Paper boats. 2000.


i will sell your art and we will move to a larger loft in Chelsea, he said


Disobey. 2007.
Definitions: refuse to go along with; refuse to follow; be disobedient.

Today, I woke up late and disobedient.


Objetos. Mi espacio esta lleno de papeles, libros, musica, tela, pigmentos, cajones, figuras, envases, esculturas, pinturas, cosas... muchas cosas; no se vivir sin cosas. Soy colecionista. Acumulo objetos e imagenes. Paso horas observando cosas que luego dibujo, pinto o transformo en otras cosas.


Viernes. Nueva York en invierno. 11 °. Una taza de te verde, acupuntura y Qi Gong. La exhibicion de Kiki Smith en el Whitney. Sopas. Sabado. Blogeo. Imagenes. Hacer algunos dibujos y objetos.


Cabo Rojo. 2007.
Puerto Rico. 2007. Volver a lo conocido es a menudo necesario. Descubrir que lo que creemos saber de memoria no es como lo recordamos. Ver que la isla es cambiante y se mueve sobre el mar y el oceano. Cidra, Carite, Patillas, Fajardo, Luquillo, Isabela, Rincon, Las Salinas, La Parguera, Guanica, Ponce y el Viejo San Juan en una semana intensa. Lagos, rios, oceanos, manglares, vida marina, cayos, islitas, arrecifes, playas, bosques.... tostones, mofongos, alcapurrias, arroz con gandules y calamares, papaya, mango, guayaba, coco, mariscos, pescados, flan...lluvias tropicales, sol, luz, color, color... gente con rostros conocidos, artistas- amigos de hace mas de veinte años, de otra vida, la vida que era mia antes de esta. Me preguntan como me va y si continuo haciendo mi obra de arte.


Que comidas añoras...
que lugares habitas... que objetos e imagenes te son imprescindibles?