On Saturday, November 3, 2012, CHG Circa (Corey Helford Gallery's new space) will feature “La Catrina,” Sylvia Ji’s new paintings of sublime Catrina beauty and her fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. Coinciding with the opening, Ji will release two new prints exclusive to CHG Circa, available at the opening. Central to the paintings of “La Catrina” is the specter of La Calavera Catrina, an iconic deity of Mexico’s “Day of the Dead” celebrations, invoked by Sylvia Ji as a chromatic presence enciphered with allegory. “I wanted to revisit this female figure that haunts me, the Catrina, and put her in a less sexually provocative form to a more concerned, almost sad tranquility and reflection,” says Ji. La Calavera Catrina, or The Elegant Skull, was originally portrayed in 1910s by the Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada as a richly adorned skeletal figure and became an enduring icon of the “Day of the Dead” celebrations. The Catrina was adoptive of the Aztecan goddess Mictecacihuatl who in the afterlife watched over the bones of the dead and all commemorating festivals. In “La Catrina,” the Lady of the Dead oversees the artist’s changes, divined through painting, and reflective with her unearthly visage. “The color red is still prominent in a lot of the work, but takes on new meaning as the color of blood,” says Ji. “Not only is red prominent, but other colorful jewel tones as well; also intricate use of gold, copper and silver leaf.” Red hues change from the noir to traditional, shapeshifting its figure’s lives from the past to the present. As a painterly possession, “La Catrina” reveals the contemporary as a translucent identity of the past. “Many of the eyes are closed, mouths drawn in a sort of calm resignation to fate.” “La Catrina” exorcises the contemporary, where the past remains an ongoing force, grounding the present with an unworldly vibrance. “La Catrina” will exhibit twenty-three paintings, including a series of smaller works. “I’ve tried to incorporate many of the textiles and patterns that evoke the indigenous spirit of Mexico,” says Sylvia. The rich hues and tonalities inlaid with traditional patterns and metallic foil motifs create an exhibition of saturnine beauty, resonant with life. The opening reception for “La Catrina” takes place Saturday, November 3 at CHG Circa. The reception is open to the public, and the exhibition will be on view through December 1, 2012. (Juxtapoz Magazine)
In the spirit of ocean conservation the international non-profit organization, PangeaSeed, is ramping up its 2012 summer activities in the United States with a west coast art exhibition tour. Tailored to address one the biggest threats facing the health of world's oceans today, the rapid mass depletion of sharks, PangeaSeed aims to expand the public’s knowledge of the inhumane practice of shark finning and its deep impact on the health of our oceans. In the cruel process of shark finning, primarily practiced in Asia but also in other parts of the world, sharks are killed solely for their fins to satisfy an unsustainable appetite for shark fin soup. The shark is hooked and brought aboard the boat where its fins are then cut off and the still alive but limbless animal is tossed back into the sea to drown. With each minute that passes close to 200 sharks are killed, adding up to an astonishing 73 million deaths each year. Scientists estimate that global fish stocks will be in full collapse by 2048 if current consumption and destructive fishing practices continue. But even more shocking is the concern that the majority of the ocean’s shark species could be extinct within the next 10-20 years. PangeaSeed, with an inclusive approach to spreading its message by engaging audiences through the mediums of art, photography, film, music and discussion, will embark on a series of art exhibitions held at a variety of forward-looking, socially-conscious galleries located along the United States’ west coast. The pioneering tour kicks off in mid-July in Seattle, Washington, and will then continue onto Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Costa Mesa, California, and culminate in San Diego, California, in mid-August.
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