Firelei Báez was born in the Dominican Republic to Dominican and Haitian parents and lives and works in New York. Báez received her BFA from Cooper Union, and her MFA from Hunter College. Her work has been exhibited in various national and international institutions, including the New Jersey City Museum, El Museo Del Barrio, The Cortona Archeological Museum (Cortona, Italy), The Caribbean African Diaspora Institute (CCADI) and in the Bronx Artist Biennial, BX1. She participated in Aljira Center for Contemporary Art's Emerge Program, and was a recent resident artist in The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has received many prestigious awards including The 2010 Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Award, The Jaque and Natasha Gelman Award in Painting, and The Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) Award among others. Her work is currently being featured in El Museo's Sixth Biennial The [S] Files/The Street Files.
2010 M.F.A., Hunter College, NY 2004 B.F.A., The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, NY 2008 Skowhegan School Of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME
My paintings explore the humor and fantasy involved in self-making within diasporic societies, which have an ability to live with cultural ambiguities and use them to build psychological and even metaphysical defenses against cultural invasions. Through a convergence of interest in anthropology, science fiction, black female subjectivity and women's work, my projects present personal cultural narratives that are natively fluent; neither ethnographic nor political, rather, globally informed reinterpretations of regional mythologies and traditions. Thus far, I have explored these issues through a varied range of topics from Caribbean carnival to the palimpsest of hair culture and gendered notions of landscape.
2011 “The S/ Files" El Museo's 6th Biennial, Curated by Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Trinidad Fombella and Elvis Fuentes, New York, NY, “Disillusions: Gendered Visions of the Caribbean and its Diasporas”, Middlesex County College Art Gallery, New Jersey