An Autumnal Ode to Seasons Past
November 6–December 31, 2021
Opening Reception Nov 6th 4-8 pm
The year began with an online exhibition from de las Mercedes paying homage to the birth and struggle of the Spring, now as we enter into the Winter, we look back at de las Mercedes’ floral works and remember how the year began and look forward to the assuredly of rebirth just a few months away. Drawing on the notion of a certitude in spring growth, this exhibition explores not only the cyclical quality of seasons, but also the artist’s repeated return to the subject. But there is more, and an interesting marriage between his artistic practice and how nature blooms.
Known as an artist that is not the silent painter in a pristine studio, de las Mercedes creates works bursting with both color and energy - unexpected as the artist is more often soft spoken. Not only are his works overflowing with vibrancy, their very making resembles the process of digging and planting as the artist scrapes his paint onto his canvas or paper, often filling his studio with the sounds reminiscent of machines tearing up a surface - this quality likens the process to the unheard sounds and violence of blooming and budding flowers as they break through the bonds of Winter.
For this gallery exhibition de las Mercedes brings forth a literal bouquet of flowers growing everywhere: in pots, on him, floating in the air - and climates in God’s Skull, (2019. Acrylic on Canvas,) which looks back to another skull piece: Human Gold. (2019. Acrylic on Canvas -showing in Gallery B) - both works explore the notion of skulls, and not in any sense from a pop culture obsession, but from what we leave behind - from mass burial sites of unnamed people to nature taking over our remains and breaking us down to truly be from this earth and back to her we will return.
There are many ways that one can approach his skull works, but I choose, with God’s Skull to return to the earlier online exhibition’s thesis that de las Mercedes often serves as a reminder of the cyclical nature of the natural environment and we still today look forward to its nature of repeat and return, and he aids in reminding us, even in the winter months of darkness, that soon all will be bright once again.
Today, still meshed in that nature barren world, we often look to the external and distant to connect with nature, but more often than not, as a visitor. De las Mercedes, in drawing on flowers and their links to releasing imagination from a contrived and ordered world, affords the viewer with freedom - freedom to bring inside nature, without disturbing it, and the freedom to imagine the action involved in the work, freedom to connect to artistic practices founded in yesteryear, freedom to imagine all that is bursting within the work, and the knowledge that all of this is the artist’s intent
Opening Reception Nov 6th 4-8 pm The CAMP Gallery 190 Main Street, Westport, CT 06880