International artist exhibition in Miami Beach

Alexander Almarza has only been in Miami a few months but the political cartoonist is already making waves in the local art world. From 6-9 p.m. Thursday the native Venezuelan will show his work as part of an exhibition put on by Joshua Bratter, an immigration lawyer who represents artists as well as athletes, entertainers and entrepreneurs. The free event, with a live DJ and arepa bar, will be at Bratter’s offices, 1688 Meridian Ave., Miami Beach. No RSVP is necessary.

We spoke to Almarza before the show:

How did you begin drawing?

Ever since I was young I had creative tendencies. I used to scribble historical figures, cars, little figures. But I didn’t take it seriously for a long time. At University of Carabobo I realized my desire to do illustrations so I began to devote myself. I finally realized that was what I wanted to do for the long term and decided to leave my engineering studies for graphic design.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Someone who has always inspired is someone global: Quino (Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón), the creator of Mafalda. Also who really inspires me are Cuban cartoonists like Ángel Boligán and Arístides Hernández (ARES). Of the American comic artists I really like Jim Lee’s work.

How would you describe what you do?

I don’t know exactly. I’d like people to think and reflect when they see one of my pieces.

What do you want readers to know about you?

That a better person, community, country and world are possible. I am a person who works hard to get better. At times I try not to think too much. I look for a quick way to respond to things as simply as possible.

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