‘Irreversible’ showcases contest winners Written by Palm Beach ArtsPaper Staff on 20 November 2013.

 ‘Irreversible’  showcases contest winners  Written by Palm Beach ArtsPaper Staff on 20 November 2013.

Amanda Madrigal IRREVERSIBLE 2013 winner “Las Muñecas” (Installation) 2013 12′ x 11′
Hand cut reflective mylar, found high chair, found clock, hand made large scale dolls, portraits and pillow clouds.

By Colleen Dougher

Rafael Enrique Rodriguez Bencid’s 6666 is a “floating cube” that takes visitors on a four-year journey of the artist’s travels, as documented through 6,666 pictures edited to a musical score built on 6,666 notes, all projected in a few minutes. To experience this, one simply sticks one’s head inside the cube and, as the Miami artist notes, it’s “as if time were arrested inside the cube and freed every time a person steps inside.”

Aaron Ansarov Portuguese men o War

Aaron Ansarov’s gorgeous, colorful, detailed, images resemble things one might see through a kaleidoscope. They’re actually photographs of much-feared yet surprisingly beautiful Portugese men-of-war that he photographed on a home-made light table before returning them to the beach where he found them. “These species are more ‘supranatural’ than we realize, and when viewed at a 1:1 ratio and mirrored, we finally can see how closely related they are to the universe around us,” the Delray Beach photographer notes in his statement about the project. “They are called zooids, a colonial animal that can only survive when connected with other zooids of a different nature.”

These are just a few of the artists in the second annual 2013 Irreversible Magazine International Competition Winners exhibition, which will open Thursday at Gallery 2014 in Hollywood.

Irreversible, a Miami-based art mag that publishes twice a year, is the brainchild of Norelkys “Noor” Blazekovic. In 2004, the self-described journalist with a B.A. in art history was looking for a way to turn her life around after getting a divorce and becoming a single mom. Three years later, after saving up money and designing her new magazine, she published the first edition of Irreversible.

Her goal, she says, was to produce a publication so big that readers would feel like they own the art works featured inside. At 12 inches wide and 17 inches high, the 60-page Irreversible showcases artists and their works in a style more in line with a big coffee table-art-book than a magazine.

Naturally, artists love being featured on its giant pages or in public art projects and exhibitions affiliated with the project-based mag.


The upcoming Gallery 2014 show, Irreversible’s second annual juried exhibition, will feature works by 25 emerging and established artists who were selected from the 200 who entered. While that number of submitting artists is down from last year, Blazekovic stresses that she’s focusing on quality rather than quantity. As such, she dropped paid promotions this year and publicized the competition herself, both locally and at international art fairs.

“What that means is that I got less submissions but they were 10 times better than the 300 I got last year, and I’m very, very happy with the results,” she says.

The winners


A panel of jurors that included Gallery 2014 co-founders Elizabeth Sanjuan and Ken Brown, Brisky Gallery director Luis Valle, Miami Herald photojournalist Carl Juste and art critic Carlos Suarez De Jesus selected the artists whose works will be exhibited and featured in an eight-page spread in the forthcoming issue of Irreversible.

While several are from outside of the U.S. (China, Italy, Germany and Scotland), Blazekovic says that most reside here in South Florida.

Jaime Ferreyros– iPhoneography

Among them is artist Jaime Ferreyros ,who will exhibit several limited edition beach iPhoneography images including When The Saints Go Marching In, a picture he took a few years ago while walking on the beach in Key Biscayne, where he lives.

“I try to capture the spirit of freedom we all experience when we interact with sand and sea,” he says of his photo metallic prints laminated with Protac high-gloss. “The beach brings out the child in all of us and memories from days gone by. My new batch of work hopes to immortalize those precious moments forever.”

Monique Lassooij will exhibit work from Proprietary Innocence, a series that is also Miami-Dade-inspired. The paintings are based on observations she made during the 14 hours a week she spends commuting on a Miami bus or Metromover.

Lassooij recalls loudly laughing and talking with friends while riding the bus as a kid, but notes that her current fellow passengers, particularly children, are silently focused on handheld devices they use to text, read books or listen to music — preferably without distraction. As Lassooij notes, “If something is happening in the bus, they look at us from under their eyebrows, almost expressionless, sometimes slightly annoyed as we disturb them in their communications.”


Lassooij began to wonder how the lives of iconic famous figures might have turned out if they had grown up in today’s technology-obsessed world, and started painting a red, white and gray series that depicts famous figures including Vincent van Gogh, Mona Lisa and Billie Holiday as children of today. “The portraits show them looking at us, from under their eyebrows, disturbed by our invasion of their privacy, their interaction through a little box, of which we are not a part,” she says.

While Lassooij’s work explores people’s disconnect with the offline world, Miami artist Amanda Madrigal’s installation of oddly shaped abstractions of human, animal and alien forms — represents the opposite.

As the artist notes about the work, “I am not only exploring the relationships between me, my work, and the viewer but also the relationships they have with each other, calling upon ideas of family, friendship, home and the sense of interconnectedness we all have with one another, which is just as beautiful as our individualism.”

Like people who are similarly born, then shaped by environments and circumstances, Madrigal’s creatures all begin with the same materials — pure white fabric and a fresh block of clay — and take on personalities of their own.

After treating the fabric with dye, determining how many limbs to include and sewing the parts together, Madrigal stuffs them with poly-fill, and adds eyes, eyelashes, teeth, tumors or other details and attaches the faces. “Really, I would tend to just do what felt right,” she says.

Next, she names them. Kandy has large bulgy blue eyes, rounded mouse-like ears, three pairs of shiny red lips (including a pair on each cheek) and a row of eyes across her forehead. The creature’s rotund multi-colored body is covered in taffy-like white swirls, and she holds shiny objects remindful of foil-wrapped chocolate eggs.

Kandy and others — from a group that includes Milk, Apple and Clarity — will make their South Florida debut in a smaller version of Las Muñecas (The Dolls), the 11-by-12-foot installation Madrigal exhibited last spring at Maryland Institute College of Art, where she earned her BFA. “I am excited to see what type of statement they make arranged much closer together,” she says.

Beauty and the Basel
Certainly, size is a factor when considering works for a 25-artist show in a 2,000-square-foot gallery.

Gallery 2014 co-owner Elizabeth Sanjuan, who along with her husband served as an exhibition juror, says the 800-plus images of submitted works ranged from tiny boxes to an enormous installation that was logistically impossible.

The jurying process was one she describes as extensive but fascinating. “As with everything in the art world, everybody has their own opinion of what’s fabulous and what’s not,” she says. “Since my husband and I were part of this, it was interesting to see who he loved and who I loved and who we agreed upon and how we didn’t really see things eye to eye in some cases … But that’s the whole thing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?”

Dario Posada, After Artemisia, Mixed Media on Canvas, 72 x 50, 2012

As a juror, her focus remained on skill, originality and overall presentation. Among the artists that captured her attention was Miami painter and sculptor Dario Posada. “I thought his work was really original,” she says. “He took some old classics and gave it a whole modern twist with a satirical kind of view on life today. I thought how he played this satire into a classical painting was brilliant. … Then there was the iPhoneography … I don’t think iPhoneography is an art form in itself but I did like the throwback of how [Jaime Ferreyro’s] images took you back to the ’60s vintage kind of work.”

Sanjuan was also impressed with the geographic scope of the entries. “I think Irreversible as a magazine — and how [Noor Blazekovic] connects the art world from all parts of the world to South Florida — is just incredible,” she says.

Blazekovic says she has been working hard to promote her show on a more international level, and admittedly has a number of factors working for her, including the timing and location of the show, which runs just before Art Basel Miami Beach. “Everybody loves Miami … and it’s that time of year that the world meets in Miami,” she says.

“These competitions are like my closing point of the year, and really it is my opening for 2014,” Blazekovic continues. “You combine people coming from overseas, this hub that brings Art Basel week and a gallery like 2014 — it’s just win-win. You just can’t go wrong with something like that.”

The 2013 Irreversible Magazine International Competition Winners exhibition will open, along with a show by sculptor Alejandro Mendoza, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and run through Dec. 3 at Gallery 2014, 2014 Harrison St., Hollywood. Regular gallery hours are 1-7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call 954-505-3291.

Colleen Dougher is a South Florida-based arts journalist and founder of Arterpillar.


  • Cash Price $2000 Amanda Madrigal  -Dario Posada
  • 25 winners Featured Gallery 2014 Exhibition
  • 7 full pages review IRREVERSIBLE MAGAZINE

    IRREVERSIBLE founder Noor Blazekovic & 2013 Competition Winner Amanda Madrigal

On behalf of the jurors and IRREVERSIBLE magazine, I would like to thank you for taking the time to apply to out Call For Artists competition of 2013. We appreciate the thought and initiative shown with your submission. The jury reviewed all submissions very carefully.  There were large amounts of quality of works with only a limited number of applications that could be selected. The presentation of each entry was extremely important, the quality of the work and the information provided to the application. The technical merits were based on theme, composition, and perspective.

There is no doubt an artist grows by leaps and bounds when he or she puts artwork in the public eye for feedback, and that is what this art competitions is all about. History, patronage, commissions, and incredible opportunities have all been prizes afforded to winners of major art competitions. IRREVERSIBLE’s major goal is to further the reach and spectrum of opportunities available for an artist of any experience and medium.

I seek to outline a criteria as they form my current judging  mindset. Keep in mind that these criteria are not immutable nor stagnant. My views change as the result of my ongoing viewing and study of new art and historical artifacts, readings of contemporary critical writing on art, and personal growth through creative production as an artist.  I am sure that my ideas about critically evaluating artwork will continue to change in an ongoing process of growth and development.

Thank you,



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