Vida (Life)

Wednesday November 16, 2011 - Wednesday January 4, 2012

Main Gallery & Visual Space

Vida, Juanita Pérez’s most recent series, immediately transports the viewer to a fascinating universe where the narratives at the heart of the artist’s vision unfold in myriad forms. An extravagant abundance of texture, color, form and pattern coexist on each painting, but it is their layered composition that lends them an almost tangible vitality, drawing the spectator in like a magnet. There is a complex mechanism at work in these pieces, one that integrates historic, cosmic and iconographic references to an immense variety of sources.

Papel picado or perforated paper, a traditional Mexican art form that is closely linked with festivals, rituals and childhood, is a part of this mechanism and one the artist clearly has a fascination for. In the intricate patterns and colors of these strips of paper cut-outs lurk stories, games and memories that serve to ground the narrative, while superimposed layers of abstract images vividly illustrate the topic at hand. One example is Cometa, where what appear to be rocket tails eddy toward the sky. The energy and movement of this painting stands in stark contrast to the Pedacitos de cielo series, where glimpses of cerulean blue and elaborate patterns provide a counterpoint of elegance and formalism to otherwise powerful pieces.

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