Juan Antonio Gonzalez, better known as "Erman" (Cuba, 1956), is a mixed media artist whose theme driven, series based works are rooted in migration. Using utilitarian methods like wood-work, sewing, cut paper, drawing and ceramics, Erman creates original components for 2 and 3D collage, assemblage and installations long thought to echo and materialize remembrance, to converse about exile, displacement, up-rootness and transculture, with sub-contexts of family, gender and Afro-Caribbean folklore, from a Cuban-American vernacular. This dialogue is achieved with a very personal iconography: empty chairs and cups, ladders reaching heights and depths, wearer-less shoes, floating windows, the bifurcated but not barren landscape presented in a sub-reality where familial issues of home and homelands are questioned, challenged and when successful, resolved.
Erman has been the guest lecturer at Edna Manley College in Jamaica, the National Gallery of the Bahamas, FIT in New York, Colorado State University and Lincoln Center in Ft. Collins, Colorado and most recently at Broward College in Davie, Florida in conjunction with his solo, traveling exhibition "Cortando, Cosiendo y Recordando," a catalogued survey of works curated by Rosie Gordon-Wallace. He has also taught art practices to children and adults living with disabilities. Erman is known as well as a designer of wedding gowns and fine garments for all occasions.
Erman's works form part of many collections including the Miami Art Museum, Miami-Dade Public Library, Craig Robbin's and Instituto Sacatar in Brazil, where he was awarded an International Fellowship in 2006 culminating in a solo exhibition at ACBEU Gallery. He is presently engaged in a new series titled "I Am That, I Am" where using original stencils and drawing, he is experimenting with multiples, repetition and layering while analyzing names, adjectives and phraseology used by others when describing him.