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Armando Mariño

The Guardian Angel, 2018

Laminated glass

Armando Mariño’s artwork The Guardian Angel is inspired by the historic development of Brentwood and its present as a community. Fabricated by Tom Patti Design, the glass captures the artist’s original watercolor vibrancy and delicate brushstrokes. Featuring richly colored flowers from the country of origin of many of Brentwood’s residents, such as Mexican Dahlias, Peruvian qantu, and Salvadorean Flor de Izote, as well as native flowers of Long Island, a guardian owl representing Brentwood’s idyllic past protects the garden. It is a metaphor for cultures integrating harmoniously, rendered in bright, alluring colors and brushwork as an invitation by the artist to “discover the beauty of life that needs to be preserved… [flowers] always come back after a hard winter like a reminder that there is always hope for a better future.”

In his research at the Brentwood Historical society, Mariño discovered “The Legend of the Red Owl” by Charles A. Codman, written around the same time as the founding of the Brentwood as “Modern Times”, a utopian community. The allegory is about past and present co-existing peacefully, in which an owl becomes the narrator’s guardian angel. Mariño’s artwork is an update of this tale, with the owl as a modern guardian to inspire and protect the community.

Armando Mariño is a Cuban artist based in Upstate NY. His paintings are characterized by luminous colors balanced with dark shadows, depicting common scenes with a surreal twist. Moving from one city and landscape to another among Cuba, the Netherlands, France, and Upstate NY has influenced his artistic focus. The imagery in Mariño’s work derives from everyday social issues like refugees, war, economics, and ecology.

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