“THE LIFE PERVERSE”
New Oil Paintings & Ink Drawings
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 16, 5:30-8:30 pm
Continues through February 1, 2014
In The Life Perverse, Alejandro Padilla’s disquieting images, manifestations of his personal struggle to face and overcome trauma-induced anxiety, are flawlessly executed in oil on canvas and ink on paper, mediums that in themselves provoke angst in the most seasoned artists. Dark, foreboding, fascinating, Padilla’s images are brilliantly painted–the artist clearly revels in his mastery of traditional technique–in deep tones drawn from the interiors of the body: blood red, veinous blue, bile green.
Through the use of familiar, yet elusive forms and symbols set within liminal spaces, Padilla creates unnatural, i.e ‘perverse,’ displays that convey anxiety-driven feelings of isolation and depersonalization.. A common element in Padilla’s new work is the egg, a symbol Surrealists like Dali connected to the prenatal and intrauterine. In Padilla’s angst-riddled visions like Egg Register (top image), the psychic egg, it’s unbroken opalescent shell secreting chaos within, terrifies a fleeing clown, his mouth agape, red hair flying. Above the intact egg boils yolk-tinged magma amid swirling albuminal clouds. We are compelled to look, yet fearful of what we might see—ourselves, perhaps?
The egg appears in other works, such as Harlequin’s Libido (right). Cameo-like and set within a globular frame, this virginal white egg is etched with the delicate torso of the sad clown Pierrot. The foil of randy Harlequin’s taunts, Pierrot never gets the girl. Below the pristine egg, a scrotum links to a bound phallus engorged with blood, simultaneously prepped for and holding back ejaculation—an excruciating pleasure.
Alejandro Padilla maintains a strict painting schedule and is involved in the local art scene as both an artist and as a curator. He has organized exhibits for local emerging artists, co-founded Xochitl Contemporary Art Gallery, and has most recently been involved in building the community of artists at the Michigan Building in Beacon Hill, where he established his own studio, Studio Fantomas, in 2011. His work can be found in private collections throughout San Antonio and it continues to gain recognition. In keeping with tradition, this exhibit of works by Alejandro Padilla, an artist featured in the On the On & Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour produced by Bihl Haus, ushers in the 7th annual Tour, scheduled for Feb. 21-23, 2014.
ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING: The Imploding Surrealistic Ineffable? author John Phillip Santos reads from his own work and from that of the Surrealist poets in mid-January. Details forthcoming.
Bihl Haus Arts is a not-for-profit contemporary art gallery located at 2803 Fredericksburg Rd. on the premises of Primrose at Monticello Park Senior Apartments. Bihl Haus Arts is the only professional non-profit art gallery on the premises of 100% senior affordable housing in the U.S. Our mission: “Creating Community through the Arts.” The gallery is open Fridays and Saturdays, 1-4 pm, or by appointment. This exhibit is funded in part by the City of San Antonio Department of Culture & Creative Development. Bihl Haus Arts is supported by grants from the WellMed Charitable Foundation; Blake, Kimberly, and George Rapier, III Charitable Lead Unitrust; Genevieve & Ward Orsinger Foundation; San Antonio Area Foundation; Shield-Ayres Foundation; Primrose at Monticello Park Senior Apartments; and from private donations.