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Zoom Toro

Page history last edited by school.programsintern1@... 2 years, 10 months ago




Artist’s Name: Cristina Toro                                         Image of work




Nationality: American


Title of Work – The Invisible Life of Small Things

Date – 2011



Facts about the artist’s life: The artist was born in Puerto Rico in 1983 and moved to South Florida with her family when she was 10. She received her BA in painting from the University of South Florida in 2007.  In 2008 one of her works was chosen by the US State Dept. as part of the Art in Embassies Program. A painting created in 2006 is on permanent exhibit at Consulate in Juarez Mexico. Toro was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Painting Fellowship in 2010. She resides in Upstate New York with her husband, an artist and chemist.


What influenced the artist’s work? Cristina Toro’s work is heavily influenced by her childhood experiences in Puerto Rico. She remembers a lush environment by the ocean and trips to the mountainous rainforests she enjoyed with her family. Her father took her to El Morro castle and she recalls seeing her first paintings – graffiti on the walls surrounding the settlement of Old San Juan. Later, she explored the swampy terrain and indigenous wildlife of Southern Florida. Toro says that Invisible Life is very special to her. “It encapsulates all of the important themes in my work and marks a special moment in my life”. The artist was newly married at the time.


Note on some of the images: Puerto Rico was formed by an underground volcano, the island rose from the sea floor. There is an abundance of sea life but not of mammals, all of which came with the humans. The rabbits were part of her family’s “menagerie”. Plant life is abundant. Irises grow in the rainforests


Materials Used: Acrylic paint, canvas


Creation Process: The artist describes her process as very personal and says she enjoys “putting paint down”, using color, detail and tiny marks to create her images. A quote from the artist:

“I always have images passing through my mind’s eye. It is up to me to help them transition from the invisible world of the mind into the material world here with me”.  The Boston Globe called her works “a party of color and pattern”.




List critical information about this artist or work docents should know in giving tours:

The artist was deeply influenced by her early childhood experiences in nature and trips to historic sites in Puerto Rico. Her present life in rural Upstate New York (the middle of nowhere she says) presents the opportunity for introspection. She finds inspiration in the daily activities of her life and her rural surroundings.


How does this piece tie to theme Zoom In Zoom Out?

The Invisible Life of Small Things is rich with detail. An interesting and complex image can be seen from a distance, but the viewer will miss the many small elements that create the work. 


List some challenging, thought provoking open-ended questions which will engage tour members.  The goals are to connect with people who might not normally visit a museum and care about this work.


  • ·         What one word comes to your mind when you view the work? Or does a word come to mind when you view the work?
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  • ·         Now that you have zoomed in, what did you see anything that surprised you?
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  • ·        
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List the resources that were most helpful in researching the artist and the art work:

  • ·         Visit to LaCa Projects and conversation with Gallery Director Neely Verano
  • ·         Interview by Zoe Balaconis in Misadventures Magazine: 
  • ·         Mintwiki
  • ·         Label text


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