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Meet Yamilet Sempe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yamilet Sempe.

Yamilet, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born in Cuba in 1970, and I went into exile in France in 1988, where I surrounded myself with renowned French artists. (Now I reside between Florida, USA and Paris, France). I am an autodidact artist with various pictorial languages. Geometric abstraction is my specialty. One of my peculiarities is my ability to decompose the geometric, taking it to the abstract, always respecting the colors of my palette. I am one of the few female artists born in Cuba who has these characteristics. My overflowing imagination and my quick and sure eye lead me to visualize every second of the palpable and mystical in everyday life, to capture it in my geometric and abstract works, where we see both the figurative and the spiritual reflected. My abstract works are inspired by visions, as dictated from “the beyond.” But it was at the age of 46 years old that as an artist, I decided to dedicate myself to painting, a passion that I repressed for many years. My first geometric work, “Cardinal at my window” (Private Collection USA), was the first signal that alerted me that the universe was sending me signals once more until then ignored, because days after creating the work, a cardinal (mystical bird) it perched on my window.

Another example: a work of great significance is “Moon’s Dreams” (Private Bahrain Collection). A figurative geometric work, where I painted a black cat looking at the moon, weeks later, a black cat came into my life, found at the edge of the sea, my beloved Omalé, who I consider “my protector.” This is my work, a succession of signs, esoteric and mystical messages reflected in works such as Divine Light, The key of Hecate, Arcane secret and Communion, to name just a few of them. I should also mention that the Bauhaus movement has had an influence on my creation. Also, painters like Hilma Af Klint (founder of the group of 5 esoteric women followers of Mme. Blavatsky’s theosophical ideas)… Kandinsky, Mondrian and Malevitch are other examples. As a common point with me: geometry, abstraction and spirituality. Deep personal and spiritual work has led me to find fulfillment in my creation, humbly accepting to be an instrument of the creator.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The path has not been smooth or difficult, it has simply been “the path.” I am very spiritual in nature and personally, I think that the path (whatever it is) is necessary until the moment arrives, and that moment does not come before or afterwards, everything is as it should be.

We’d love to hear more about your art.
I am an autodidact painter. Despite having several pictorial languages, my specialty is a geometric abstraction in which I have constant creativity and it brings me a lot of peace. As a female geometric artist born in Cuba, I am proud to follow in the footsteps of the great pioneering women in the Cuban geometric abstract, Lolo Soldevilla, Zilia Sanchez and Carmen Herrera.

The colors that I use are not by chance, always present the orange that denotes enthusiasm and passion; Kandinsky claimed that orange evokes feelings of strength, energy, ambition, joy and triumph, characteristic traits of my personality. We also notice circles in my works that represent the Rose of Jericho (my favorite flower), symbolizing the phoenix in the plant world, convinced that art, nature and life are strongly connected. Something that sets me apart is during the creation process, in which I come into contact with spirit guides, as in a trance state, I then work quickly and safely without changing a single brushstroke. Many are the examples that can be cited about my work that confirm that I am one of the few, not to say the only, female artists born in Cuba who express themselves in geometric, abstract and mystical language.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Since I was little, I liked to draw nature. Hence my training as a veterinary nurse, animals and plants always aroused great curiosity in me. I also have many beautiful memories, artistically speaking; I remember the social gatherings at my house where art covered us with concerts from Aranjuez by the maestro Ildefonso Acosta and painting works by the master Modesto García among others. In France, I had the opportunity to meet many visual artists, including Pierre Amador, a great friend.

Without forgetting my childhood friends from Cuba who inspire me and to whom I dedicate a geometric watercolor work, “The colors of friendship.”

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