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Psychedelic, sensual, and vivid art


Victor Castillo : Pure Pleasure // Mauricio Garrido & Claudia Penia : Sleeplessness

Merry Karnowsky Gallery (170 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA) Map it Free
Small_153e42d520ce688132d382d18bc523e6 Merry Karnowsky

Exhibition Dates: February 1st, 2014 - March 1st, 2014
Opening Reception: February 1st, 2014 8-11pm

Following Under Heavy Measures last year, Victor Castillo returns to Merry Karnowsky Gallery with Pure Pleasure, featuring 12 black-and-white paintings on paper and a large-scale mural installation that emphasize the artist's deft hand and brilliant compositions.

Pure Pleasure is a pause, a departure from the vividly-colored acrylic paintings he has previously presented. What Castillo proposes in paring down to the essence, to ink on paper, is refreshing and equally impactful. It’s like championing a return to analog in an image-saturated digital world.

For the artist, Pure Pleasure explores a psychedelic terrain that is also sensual and sexy. The paintings on paper reveal yet another side of Castillo's visions, perhaps more personal, which may be a surprise to those who are familiar with his darker social critiques.

Nature abounds in paintings like Dancing Days and Sorry for Laughing, of playful girls with Castillo’s signature light and sausage noses. Humor surfaces in Kiss Is on My List. And critiques are still evident in paintings like A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste, in which we find a princess sitting in a forest amidst the material things she has accumulated, suggesting pleasure can be dangerous too.

Castillo comments that freeing the mind is like dancing, and it’s this raw energy of desire that we find in Pure Pleasure. The exhibition title, finally, signifies liberation. The artist’s ability to communicate and to evoke emotions in precise strokes affirms his mastery of a bold graphic style in addition to the classic.

Since moving to Los Angeles in 2010, Chilean artist Victor Castillo has presented his work in solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, Hamburg, Tokyo, and Santiago as well in group exhibitions in the United States, Chile, Denmark, Italy, England, Germany, France, and Switzerland. His work was featured at Les Enfantes Terribles at the Lyon Biennial, France and has been reproduced in numerous publications worldwide.

For the first time, the artist will be signing a limited number of accessible silk-screen prints made exclusively for the exhibition.

SLEEPLESSNESS speaks of the persistence of insomnia as a creative mechanism that is shared by both artists. That pulsation drives them to eternal wakefulness and constitutes a state of concentration through which their unique, disturbing, and beautiful imagery turns into paintings in the case of Claudia Peña and exuberant collages in that of Mauricio Garrido.
The artist Mauricio Garrido presents a series of small, medium and large format collages, made from original paper, collected from illustrations books of history, zoology, botanic and Art. Cutting and pasting each piece by hand, one top of the other, Garrido creates a universe of bodies, surreal landscapes and disturbing situations. His visual imagery is exuberant, complex and dark and has often been categorized as neo-baroque. Covering various media such as sculpture, collage, textiles and video art, his work reviews codes of representation throughout the history of art, and is particularly focused on allegory as a visual language.

Born in Chile, in 1974. Studied art in 1995 and just exposed CUT/LOG 2013 Fair in New York.His artistic production has been exhibited in Europe, Asia and Latin América and his work is in several collections including the Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli in México, Collection CCU in art, Chile, and in private collections, such as singer Elton John .
The artist will be present at the opening of the exhibition.

The visual realism of Claudia Peña is intense and personnel. Her painting displays an index of images whose fragmented composition, in opposition to the linear statement, develops into an iconographic dialogue on childhood, fetishes and intimate landscapes that have to be resconstructed by the viewer.
What is disturbing about her paintings is how she explores her body and her own history across the relation with the domesticity and the cultural Latin-American misogyny. Her mastery of the craft shows attention to detail. The value of painting and drawing in her work adds a consistent assimilation of contemporary languages, using techniques such as decoupage, photography and collage to enrich the symbolic chaos of her pictorial record.

Born in Chile in 1970. Studied art in Universidad de Chile, Fine Arts Faculty. For two consecutive years she got the scholarship from the foundation “Amigos del Arte”, which is consisting of economic funding for a year.She has exposed in Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Lima. (Perú).
The artist will be present at the opening of the exhibition.

Victor Castillo : Pure Pleasure // Mauricio Garrido & Claudia Penia : Sleeplessness

Merry Karnowsky Gallery (170 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA) Map it Free
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