The Miami International Film Festival has selected the internationally renowned French-born, Nicaragua-based artist Jean Marc Calvet as the official poster artist for its 30th edition.
Jean Marc Calvet was the subject of director Dominic Allan’s documentary Calvet, a popular hit at MIFF 2012, where it screened as part of the Knight Documentary Competition. The film recounts the painter’s journey from savvy street kid to Cannes bodyguard who abandoned his wife and son, robbed a Miami mobster, hid out in Central America and at the age of 38 overcame a gruesome drug addiction in an extraordinary metamorphosis through which he began to paint. Eight years later, Calvet’s intricate paintings now sell for five figures.
In creating the MIFF 2013 poster, which he calls “Miami Juice,” Calvet says, “This is primarily a message of hope… go out of the dark and into the light! The central personage is filled with cinematic references: projectors, stars, cameras, red carpet, outlaws, explosions, etc. etc. The character’s eyes are shaped like camera shutters and inside the mouth are a number of distinctive elements referencing Miami perfectly capturing the theme MIFF has chosen to celebrate its wild, fascinating 30-year history: “Every character under the sun / Todos los personajes bajo el sol“.
Jean Marc Calvet began painting at a point in his life when severe crisis metamorphosed into a form of redemption and rebirth. With no previous training, he discovered the need to paint by complete chance. Not only did it save him: it changed his life. Art is his catharsis and his evolution has been astounding. For him, it is about exorcising the insanity of his past and slapping down on canvas the dirty truth of live. He paints fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, in Nicaragua, where he is currently based. Calvet was one of six winners of the VII Biennale of Nicaraguan Arts in 2009 selected to represent Nicaragua at the Biennale of Central America in Panama in 2010.
This past March, Miami Dade College’s (MDC) renowned Art Gallery System, in collaboration with Monkdogz Urban Art Gallery, the Americas Collection, and the Miami International Film Festival, presented Jean Marc Calvet’s exhibition, invasion invasión l’invasion, at MDC’s National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower. The well-received exhibition featured 33 large-scale paintings and an installation of miniature sculptures, marking Calvet’s first solo exhibition at the Freedom Tower.
A legitimate self-taught artist, his work and passion as an artist are marked by sophistication yet maintain the spirit of the true brute style. Calvet has exhibited his work in Europe, the United States and Latin America, including several solo shows in New York and Nicaragua. His work is held in several private collections and museums.