Following his expulsion from Miami Beach Senior High school, living as a beach bum through the late 60’s, then winning a number of art school scholarships condemning him to a life of ketchup sandwiches and “chi-chi” soirees; Ignacio Medrano-Carbo then embarked upon a career as a news cameraman in war-torn Central and South America for CBS News. His career was cut short when Panamanian General Noriega’s henchmen badly injured him in an assault perpetrated against members of the international press. During his time of convalescence he wrote then starred in his play The Electric Hummingbird produced 1990 by Teresa Maria Rojas (Prometeo) in Miami for the V International Hispanic Theater Festival-- performed at the Ashe Auditorium James L. Knight Center. Since then Ignacio did 145 day tour in the Middle East for NBC News in 2003 covering Israel and the West Bank, though always continued to paint.
He claims his influences as the following:
In Cuba, his father’s impromtu humor, writing and deep literary life which included readings early on of stories about Native American Indians. Then Garcia Lorca and Luis Pales-Matos. Once in the U.S, (1960 ) his mother’s physical beauty, poet’s heart and what he says was her undying support for his work with the exception of Ignacio’s anti-clerical propensities. He was branded by New York Jewish and Italian snowbirds and transplants in Miami Beach, along with the “beach boy” scene of the pool decks in the early to late Sixties, and the black radio DJ’s of WBBM at the time . Prominent as well in his influence was the local street culture and the many blue collar people he met while working the forty or fifty soul crushing odd jobs that he recalls mostly getting fired from before and after art school. And all through out, “not dropping names just people I owe for my soul,” he insists are Thelonious Monk, beatniks in general, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, Frank Zappa, Dali, the Dadaists, , Lenny Bruce, Lord Buckley, Van Gogh, Fellini, Eisenstein, Vermeer, Turner, Frans Hals, Rabelais, Marcel Duchamp, Keinholz, Manzoni, Charles Bukowski, Klimt, Munch, Kafka, Nabokov, Ryder, Ikkyu…in that order and the list continues….
“Marcel Duchamp derailed my painting train in 1973 along with the installation and performance artists like Manzoni, Keinholz, Joseph Beuys, and Christo”.
Ignacio received an AA degree from Miami Dade College during, what’s known to insiders as the North Campus’ Golden Age (’70 through ’75). He studied under Robert Thiele, Salvador La Rosa, Shirley Henderson, Richard Price, Peter McWhorter, He culminated the influences from that “painting train” derailment with Port a’ Tart his installation at the 1973 student art show ( a live naked woman sporting a chain and ball a chain and ball -- with a vibrating “toy” on a snare drum on a stand as a sentinel at the entrance, waved to viewers to join her inside where she lay on her back in a box (a portable tart) As Mr. Thiele tells it, his mention in subsequent art classes of the elements in Port a Tart, influenced other student artists which came years after him. One of them now has a piece at the Whitney Biennale this year (2008).
He began painting again in 1990 when he hit a block while writing his one-act play, The Electric Hummingbird. The act itself purging the barriers. and has continued to date to produce pieces in photography as well as painting.
RESUMELIA - Ignacio received scholarships for Art at the Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1973-74. Scholarship for photography at Rochester Institute of Technology (Eastman Kodak) in 74-75, studied sculpture and film 75-76 at York University, Toronto, Canada, then received a full visual arts scholarship at the University of Miami to finish his BFA in 1977. A News story he shot with his soundman, Steve Lomonoco, while on assignment for NBC in Middle-East reported by Martin Fletcher, Bureau Chief of the Tel-Aviv Bureau went on to win a Peabody Award. Since his hip replacement in 2006 years ago, Ignacio has been dedicating more and more time to his artwork.