Galería Galou
237 Kent Ave. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211 Tel: 718-486-3730 Cel: 917-407-2029

III Juried Show Past Exhibitions

 

VENEZUELAND
September 17 – October 23

About the artists

Some artists in Venezueland reexamine the genres of portraiture and self-portrait to speak about the Venezuelan culture and society in a world shaped by globalization and the mass media.

Driven by a sense of nostalgia, Lucía Pizzani presents an installation consisting of a digital photo sequence of self-portraits taken in the bathroom of a hotel, accompanied by the song Sola (Lonely), the soundtrack of a Venezuelan soap-opera of the 80s. Pizzani sees Las Amazonas as a metaphor for the strong and independent woman as an opposite to the “fragile female” stereotype portrayed by the TV industry.

The themes that Esperanza Mayobre explores are those we generally don’t want to talk about -sickness, death, poverty, and debt. In E$peranza, she inserts the role of the hero -E$peranza, a modern Robin Hood who pays off the debt of the third world countries, while in Saint Esperanza she incarnates the Saint of the Immigrants, a very needed one.

By means of appropriation and intervention, Alejandra Villasmil takes the social pages of the Venezuelan newspapers El Nacional and El Universal, then covers up the photos with paint and deletes the names of the socialite to cancel the purpose and meaning of the advertisement. The descriptions of the social events –Weddings, Quinceaños, and other big parties- illuminate the flamboyance and showiness of the social wannabe.

Valeria Cordero presents a work from her series The Search Project, a study of identity and semantics by creating a visual dictionary with an overall notion of a word defined by the collective. The project consists on using internet search engines to obtain all images associated with a particular word or name, in this case the word Venezuela.

Another notion of portraiture and the action of self-contemplation is given by Leonor Mendoza in her piece Personal Freedom. The installation invites us to explore our feelings and desires regarding power, security and personal freedom as a consequence of being under the control of others.

Patricia Cazorla creates “diaries” or personal collections of portraits of women who have a special significance to her, whether because of their bold characters or because of their simple beauty. Cazorla depicts the emotions, sensibilities and personalities of her subjects through vivid colors, strong brushstroke, and collages of images taken from the media.

Some artists in Venezueland are influenced by Pop Art and its aim to comment on the impact of mass culture and popular art on American society. Pilita García, Francisco López and Mónica Brand, and Luis Lara Malvacías also expand the traditional concept of painting and investigate the formal aspects of the artistic practice.

García’s work reflects influences of artists Cy Twombly, Hieronymus Bosch and Neo Rauch, and the languages of Surrealism, graffiti, and street art. She starts with color and let the application of the material direct the course of the painting. Blue Painting, the work selected for this exhibition, is “the estampita that, regardless of belief systems, South American people often carry inside their wallet”.

For López and Brand, beauty and pop culture become the formula to convey a new way of reconstituting the mythological and symbolic orders. By fusing pop imagery with an archetypal history of magic, their work suggests that the artist is likely as much a shaman as much as a showman.

Artists Saskia Jordá, Pedro Cruz-Castro, Richard Garet, and Nancy Saleme explore the clash between nature and the manmade through representations of the organic world in the domestic set and the urban context.

In her drawings, Jordá references the anatomy of plants and animals as points of departure. Reinterpreting diagrams from obscure scientific publications enables her to blur the line between scientific evidence and her own artistic interpretation, as she attempts to decipher how Nature works.

Cruz-Castro explores the relationship between the natural environment and the built environment in his Living Furniture, hybrid constructions of furniture and animal parts whose origins in history date back to the late 1800s. The mutations and metamorphosis give the objects a touch of the absurd.

Garet is a painter, a video artist, and a sound artist whose sources of inspiration are nature’s processes and the relationships between nature and human beings. For Venezueland, he uses video to create a “video-painting”. The time-based media allows him for an exploration on the perception of color, shape, and composition that results in images reminiscent of aerial topographic views, satellite photos and camouflage patterns.

Enrique Enriquez is retelling the story of the world, one person at a time. In The Elephant Room and Other Tales of Wonder, Enriquez offers an interactive and participatory work that combines his two main artistic practices –drawing and performance. He will present a collection of his own drawings, whose stories are created solely by the public.

Elba Damast was an artist who exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. Her most recent show in 2004 was at Lehman College Art Gallery, where she exhibited for the first time her work Memories of Things to Come, an installation developed over the course of five years. The work consists of school desks with sculptural bronze and brass hearts within which videos filmed in her native Venezuela played out. In the late 80s and through the 90s she was known for her paintings with the outline of houses seemingly etched into the canvas, and the human-scale Casa Om installations, designed to interact with the people and its surroundings. Her work in the late 90s dealt with the symbol, image and weight of the human heart. Her most recent series of work, titled De lo que soy (Of what I am), consisted on large paintings, sculptures and watercolors of a single woman with multiple heads that were extremely autobiographical.




 


Lucía Pizzani, Sola, 2005


Esperanza Mayobre, Untitled, 2005