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  • Writer's pictureagprat

Still... waiting for this to end

As a non-representational artist, it is quite unusual to have the opportunity to exhibit in a Portrait show. However, the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic gave me the chance to be part of one.

It all started in the early days of the pandemic when I found myself reflecting on my emotions and those of my loved ones and their impact on my art. Although I conceived several non-representational paintings that you can browse in my website, I also felt the urge to create a portrait that resulted from a vision I had. I came up with this idea of a person standing next to their window, looking out, waiting… I collaged a paper copy of the photo of a beautiful girl that I took in the streets of my beloved Buenos Aires a few years ago. I also included the photo of the palm of my hand. I worked with acrylics to create the window. Thus, the mixed media painting “Waiting for This to End” was born.

The painting evokes the portrait of a person locked-in because of quarantine or stay-at-home situation. Emotionally speaking, I feel that the image I created is rather ambiguous. This person is either hopeful while enjoying more privileged shelter-in-place conditions, or it could be thought of as desperate for the crisis to be over to put an end to an even worse reality than that of infection. Moreover, the portrait could be of a COVID victim that did not or will not survive the pandemic…

Copies of the portrait were used for a bigger scope project, the “Pandemic Days” project, that you can also explore in my website. This project consists of a collection of found iPhone or similar boxes, painted with acrylic and ink pen, and collaged paper images of this painting. Those boxes depict words, or phrases expressed or heard during the early part of the pandemic, loosely organized within the five stages of grief - denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance.

I feel honored that “Waiting for This to End” was accepted into FACING YOU, a Portrait show at the Virtual Belmont Gallery of Art (BGA). I really enjoy how this exhibit was carefully curated by Rebecca Richards and Adine Storer, Co-Directors of the BGA, with the various show categories (FAMILY, WORK, SEE YOU SEE ME, EMOTIONS, VISIONS, ICONS and IN THE END) representing different aspects of the portraiture universe. In that sense, I am really impressed about how my painting in the EMOTIONS section relates to another artwork of the show, “Winter Reverie” by Bert Halstead. I invite you to look at them in the Virtual BGA. I feel that the two images are engaged in a mirror image, inside-out type of dialogue that speaks about the magic of the curating an exhibit, when images from different artists seem to belong together, falling into place as if they were part of a bigger and mysterious plan.

Lastly, If you want to hear from a few artists, including me, about the artwork exhibited at the FACING YOU show, check the video of the show’s January 15th Virtual Reception. I hope you enjoy the show and the reception and the amazing art of so many other talented artists in the exhibit.

Image: “Waiting for This to End”, mixed media on canvas paper (black and white version), 16 x 12 inches, currently on view at the FACING YOU show, at the Virtual BGA. I am always happy to talk to you about collecting my art and the options I offer. If you are interested in this or other paintings, or to ask me for commissions, or even rental, please contact me here.

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