Scientific illustration is the rare middle point where the creativity and freedom of visual arts meet the rigor and precision of science. Julio J. Figueroa (b. 1947, Havana, Cuba) learned of this balance as a young professional in Havana and has worked as a botanic illustrator his entire life. Nevertheless, with his mastery of drawing and his great attention to detail, often he indulges in the joy and pleasure of artmaking for art’s sake. This exhibition combines his technical, didactic renderings of botanic species, with his hyper-realistic drawings and watercolors of equal beauty and accuracy. Over fifteen pieces are accompanied by a short documentary video on the artist’s work and publishings featuring Figueroa’s illustrations. Julio J. Figueroa studied Technical Drawing and Design, as well as Scientific Illustration in Havana, Cuba. He worked as the Scientific Illustrator of the Faculty of Biology, the University of Havana for ten years, and then went on to occupy the same position in Cuba’s National Botanic Garden for the other fifteen years.
As a botanical illustrator, Figueroa’s work has been published in various scientific and non-scientific books in Cuba, the United States, Germany, Great Britain, and Spain. These include Flora de la Republica De Cuba (Cuba, Germany), Naturaleza Cubana (Spain), Curtis’s Botanical Magazine (Great Britain), Peppers of the Americas (USA), and Botanical Artist “ASBA” (USA).
Since his arrival in the US, in 2007, Figueroa has exhibited at the World Orchid Show, the Tamiami International Orchid Festival, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s Orchid Festival and Mango Festival, and at various other venues. He also serves as a judge in Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s Challenge Program. In addition, he has participated in numerous scientific symposia held in various parts of the World. Figueroa is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA).