Vanessa Madrid and Daniel Barajas
Opening Reception, Friday August 23, 2019 6 to 8pm
Art@Work is a collaboration initiated by Angels Gate Cultural Center (AGCC) and brings together I.D.E.A., Precision Dynamics International, and the Arts Council for Long Beach for a three-month rotating exhibition of varied artistic voices of the South Bay.
Art@Work’s third rotation will include Long Beach based artist Daniel Barajas and San Pedro artist Vanessa Madrid in a showcase of vibrant contemporary painting and sculpture entitled Resonance. The I.D.E.A. space will, for the first time in our partnership, exhibit work that is geometric and vividly colorful.
Vanessa Madrid who was taught by her grandfather to look for the spark of the sacred that is present in all living things, natural places and forces says, “I still look for this spark, the joyful presence in the world around me.” Madrid’s artwork is an attempt to visualize energetic resonance; the spark within people, places, objects, elemental forces of wind and tide, the animal and undersea world, the cosmos and the microscopic realm. She uses the language of abstraction and minimalism to visualize the flow of energy through and between people, places and the natural world. Madrid distills shapes down to an elemental state – part geometric, part biomorphic – until they reference both the macroscopic and microscopic worlds. The spaces between shapes are equally important to her, as those negative spaces become highly charged places of exchange, refuge, and chambers for the sacred spark.
Daniel Barajas’s work explores the fragility of man through moral vices, specifically narcissism and greed. With his large works, he paints the beauty and complexity of the figure emphasizing physical splendor (youthfulness and delicacy) while also highlighting the figures naïve and egotistical behavior via their poses. His figures are lost in a state of self-absorption, unaware of the viewer. They are painted volumetrically in contrast to the flat background, cast shadows and geometric shapes that move across the picture plane. With his small work, he breaks down the complexity of traditional portraiture with the use of monochromatic and highly de-saturated colors stripping away the identity of the figures by obstructing their faces with flat geometric shapes. This sumptuous color flows through the figures and backgrounds in all of his works magnifying the decadence of human vanity and avarice.
Both artists use their work to explore the geometry in the organic and sensual. Through the investigation of spatial resonance in both of their works, they find the connections and tensions intrinsic in natural relationships.
The opening reception for the three-month exhibition at Art@Work, Resonance will take place on August 23rd from 6-8pm. 100 Oceangate, Suite 375 (street-level northwest corner) Long Beach, CA 90802. The exhibition will be open by appointment only or can be viewed from the walkway on the west side of the building.