Carla Veliz’s latest series of mixed-media paintings is entitled Vivencias, “Life Experiences.” Each work, sincere and authentic, is inspired by events that have shaped the artist’s perspective. Veliz works with a variety of media, including wax, resin, sand, and other materials that add texture beneath and atop her painted surfaces. “No soy de aqui ni de alla” explores the universal quest for belonging. A grid of copper wire, punctuated by grommets, criss-crosses a canvas covered in swirls of grey. Hanging from a chain is a heart-shaped charm. The pendulum effect of this arrangement remarks on the dual world that Veliz calls home, the emotional pull between her life in the U.S. and her family’s in Mexico.
Small metal discs, bathed in olive-green paint, cover the surface of “No hay nadie como tu” (“There is no one like you”). Each of us is unique, like the found objects Veliz includes in her paintings, but we share a common search for identity.
Nails pierce the edges of a powerful painting entitled “Si me hubieras querido, no me hubiera ido.” Smoky browns and vibrant oranges provide a dramatic backdrop for a red and blue geyser-like form that shoots up violently from the center. A volcanic eruption may be awesomely beautiful from afar, but it is simultaneously capable of destroying countless lives. Similarly, a love affair can fill one’s heart to the brim before dashing it to smithereens. “If you had loved me, I wouldn’t have left” is the sort of statement one might think but never get the chance to say, and the imagery in this work accomplishes the expression of that fear.
A dynamic composition of red and purple is superimposed on shades of grey. The painting’s title, “Lo mejor esta por venir,” is written in capital letters across the center. As in the rest of this series, the incorporation of text imbues the dreamy surface quality of each painting with a specific theme on which to meditate. This piece was influenced by graffiti often seen in public restrooms; while the phrases scrawled on stall doors are generally tacky, if not downright obscene, Veliz favors a cheery saying that encourages optimism. “The best is yet to come” replaces unpleasantness with inspiration.
“Le dije adios al desaliento,” “I said goodbye to discouragement,” features fresh, kelly-green hues and accents of white. Veliz’s choice of colors represents new beginnings, the refreshing tones of flora serving as a metaphor for personal growth. Her work promotes belief in the powerful effect of words, for better or for worse, and the importance of attitude in leading a successful life. The arresting scale of the pictures — each work in the series measures 62-by-70 inches — serves to emphasize its message. Visually intriguing and conceptually engaging, they speak to the human experience.
New Works by Carla Veliz
6:30-10pm Fri, Jul 18
118 Blue Star #1, Bldg. C