Que viva Mexico
It’s an intriguing, sometimes amusing, odd-couple pairing of painters in Mexico International at La Raza Galeria Posada, 1421 R Street. Paintings by Victor Guadalajara and Franco Aceves Humana, displayed until January 3, have little in common—save for the country of the artists’ birth: Mexico, of course.
Aceves Humana’s pieces are the more simplistic. To make them a part of recorded history, he includes texts explaining the typically lone objects within his fields. Or he works with myths, as in “Medios Perro,” a mixed-media piece on wood with its mythic creature combining the lower halves of two dogs. You can visualize the two canines colliding and swallowing each other’s top halves, leaving nothing but hindquarters and, of course, tails. Unless you’re familiar with Mexican folklore, you’ll never know if this two-tailed, dual-natured beast is a mythological entity or just a humorous illusion born from the artist’s hand. The painterly surface offers a wonderfully satiny texture, akin to that achieved by Aceves Humana—if by brushing on melted white chocolate before he painted his perro.
Guadalajara works on a more sculptural level, as if a force behind his paintings were pushing them into the three-dimensional world. He manipulates the canvases, stretching them without strain, and then braces the changes from behind. Paint melds the distortional element into an integral part of each piece. “Cardume,” a large encaustic on canvas, offers a sphere pushing out of a square, painted with horizontal movement in rust, gold and earth tones. The encaustic coats the canvas like a glaze, lending a surprisingly Oriental flavor. For more information, call (916) 446-5133.