Carlos Estevez and Elsa Mora
September 7-November 3, 2012
Carlos Estevez: Memorabilia
Carlos Estevez in his fifth exhibition with us is showing a combination of paintings and objects. The concept behind this show is a reflection about how ideas become objects, whether in paintings or sculptures.
Conceptually Estevez continues to explore his recurring themes, such as man’s place in the universe and relationships between human beings. Formally, his paintings show evidence of his interest in medieval tapestry and illuminated manuscripts. His canvases are mimicking the use of gold and the rhythmic repetition of patterns that characterize textiles from that period. His palette, based on rich contrasts between the golden background and colors such as deep blue, purple and bright reds, is also evocative of the epoch.
Among the pieces we have a couple of his new ‘smoke paintings’, in which he actually ‘paints’ with smoke, creating beautiful ‘marbleized’ figures. The contrast between the represented monuments supposedly made out of stone, and the fragility of the smoke, represents concepts such as mortality and illusion. The idea of stone as an everlasting material is refuted by the inexorability of time.
The three-dimensional pieces in the exhibition are combinations of ready-made objects, which remind us of surrealistic sculptures. Methodologically he follows the same principle as in previous works, in which he created hybrids with combined elements from nature and man-made mechanisms. This time, Estevez decided to apply this concept to machines, creating new ones out of pieces from different old ones. Taking advantage of the aesthetic qualities of the object per se, and with wit and humor, he makes a one-of-a-kind telephone out of an old one mixed with parts from a blender, or a hand shower, or a gun. In others, musical instruments are converted into marionettes. The results are stunning objects, in which functionality is superseded by fantasy.
Elsa Mora: Femina Plantarum
In this exhibition Elsa Mora is showing her most recent series, Femina Plantarum. Inspired by nature, and partially based on the long tradition of botanical illustration, Mora takes passages from the natural world as similes for stages in human life. She is exploring the concept of transformation from a symbiotic point of view, blending vegetation and humans. Her distinctive ‘women’ are created with mixed elements from both worlds; her female torsos have either faces constructed of groupings of birds, or arrangements of flowers for heads resulting in extraordinary surrealistic creatures.
This series introduces a new phase in her work, which had always touched upon autobiographical themes. In this instance she is making reference to a personal transformation, illustrated through her hybrid beings.