Born in Camaguey, Cuba in 1955, Demi depicts a vibrant and intimate universe centered upon children, but hers is neither a sugar-coated nor an innocent vision. Demi paints luminous and powerful children whose lives have been exposed to the vagaries of the adult world.
Demi has first-hand knowledge of the plight of children whose fates are altered by devastating events. Her father was executed in Castro’s Cuba when she was still a child. Her family’s home and resources were all confiscated and they scraped together a living until Demi was sent to Puerto Rico to live with relatives at the age of six. She finally joined her family in America in 1971, and they eventually settled in Miami where she studied at Miami-Dade Community College. Demi is a sobriquet to indicate her life was cut in half by exile, and she emphasizes individuality and ambiguity by avoiding the use of a last name.
Demi deliberately employs a naïve style and paints mainly children. Her subjects are denuded and androgynous, preternaturally mature and far from ingenuous, reflecting their precocious experiences. Although rooted in her personal history, these subjects are fanciful and universal, with powerful social and political overtones.