Mannequins On Parade – Electric, Eccentric & Eclectic!
Sophia Torres was born in the small, forest-adjacent town of Cordova, New Mexico. Her craft is one influenced heavily by her childhood: she focuses on ceramic dolls. As a young child, she preferred playing with self-made clay figures rather than store-bought trinkets. The detailed toys and figurines on display in this exhibition encompass both her youth and her adulthood; an element of playful whimsy juxtaposes with an eerie expressiveness. Showcasing deeply visceral imagery, the art that Sophia Torres creates is intent on capturing the fundamental human truths that tend to hold people back: anger, fear, sadness. By shrinking these larger-than-life feelings into objects that fit into a palm, she illustrates their immateriality. Her work strives towards understanding, meditativeness, and nostalgia. One sculpture series, Mean Muggin’, portrays haunting visages on a wheel-thrown cup. An evolution of this series, Noods, depicts similar faces but with added bodily features. They are created using hand-building techniques. Finally, the lesser-known but most intricate and detailed of Sophia’s creations are the Demonios Internos: inner demons. These dolls are articulated using the same stringing techniques as antique Japanese Ichimatsu Gofun dolls.
While ceramics are certainly her focus, she stresses the importance of being well-rounded as an artist and creator. Her work with metal, prints, painting, woodworking, and other art forms have heavily informed the sculptural niche she currently occupies. Moving forward, Torres hopes to show that dolls are more than just untouchable antiques; they can be breathtaking vessels of expression and emotion.
Working in acrylic, watercolor pencil, and ink, my paintings, and drawings are inspired by the human experience, nature, and music. I am fascinated by storytelling and depicting a narrative that guides viewers to their own interpretations. My work is illustrative in its use of bold lines and vibrant colors. My inspirations include Paul Cadmus, Tamara de Lempicka, Frida Kahlo, Francis Bacon, and Pablo Picasso.
Nearly all of my work is influenced by and titled after songs. My process includes immersing myself in music and lyrics to tell a story. I build playlists that support the desired mood of the artwork that I am creating.
Mark Frossard was born in St. Louis, MO, and currently lives and works in Santa Fe, NM.
Alvin Gill-Tapia creates a poem by painting hallowed places and sacred spaces in New Mexico. Each piece pays homage to the land nestled beneath the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that four generations of his family helped cultivate. Gill-Tapia paints with a devoted intention to honor the historical and significant structures that define the enchanting landscape of the Southwest. Studying for four years with weaver/painter Maud Henon in Belgium, during his formative years opened up a myriad of experiences for Gill-Tapia. The experience allowed him the opportunity to immerse himself in the art and culture offered in the cities of Brussels, Amsterdam, and Paris.
Henon’s consistent tutelage and encouragement helped to plant him firmly on his life path as an artist. Her influence as a weaver laid the groundwork for the abstraction and understanding of color blocking that is evidenced in Gill-Tapia’s current body of work. Following his study with Henon, Gill-Tapia spent ten years in New York, where he took classes in painting, drawing, and anatomy at The Art Student’s League of New York, The New York Academy, and the National Academy of Art. A decade of study and exhibition in New York solidified his desire to return home to paint the sacred places in New Mexico that continue to inspire.
Today, Gill-Tapia lives in a home built by his family and paints every day in a small studio tucked safely under the symbolic arms of the mountains that sheltered his ancestors, so many generations before him. Gill-Tapia’s process often includes a simplification or reduction of architecture to highlight the main elements. This minimalization is a direct reflection of a balanced and quiet life lived in Santa Fe, a place that seems to remain unaffected by the fast pace of life around us. Gill-Tapia empowers an ambassadorial affection to the buildings that for many years have provided a multiplicity of functions for the communities they have served. Beyond their initial spiritual intentions, these buildings provide the local residents a place for coming together as a community. His sense of color represents the intensity of color inherent to New Mexico.
LESLIE-LOHMAN MUSEUM * NEW YORK CITY
NATIONAL HISPANIC CULTURAL CENTER & MUSEUM * ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
THE ROCKWELL MUSEUM * CORNING, NEW YORK