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Published April 28, 2023

Symbols for a New Direction: Michael Cuadrado's Studio Spotlight

By Kate Parvenski

Kate is the Director of Content for Testudo and a Brooklyn-based multimedia producer with a passion for art and storytelling. Her work focuses on documenting and showcasing artists working across a variety of mediums.

Michael Cuadrado makes kaleidoscopic paintings that are replete with symbols and marks in motion. Using a range of media—from oil and acrylic paint to charcoal and chalk pastel to inkjet prints and paper—Cuadrado creates compositions that appear like quirky diagrams with flurries of irregular lines, arrows, circles, and rectangles.

Largely influenced by ideas around phenomenology, queer theory, and semiotics, Michael Cuadrado works with reinterpreted symbols and their relationships to color in hopes of answering the question: How should we love?

We spoke with Michael in his studio at Yale for a conversation on abstraction, his influences, and the spiritual nature of pattern-painting.

Image credit: Kate Parvenski
There is a kind of inherent spiritual act when it comes to pattern painting where the painting almost becomes about being in that moment. Abstraction lets me be in a liminal space. These works speak a lot to this idea of time not being linear and that multiple things can exist at the same time.
Image credit: Kate Parvenski

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