Saturday, October 03, 2015

Cave Art Revisited

“With a discerning eye and a brush, I have spent much of my life
as an artist and a painter
exploring the intersection of myth, mind and society.”
Becky Soria

The South American born artist Becky Soria has had a lifelong interest in mankind’s earliest artistic endeavors; the 20 thousand year old iconography paintings of the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras of human pre-history. Using these works as inspiration Soria recreates her own versions to explore the motivations that drive the human animal.

As she explained to the Houston based art historian and writer Virginia Billeaud Anderson on The Great God Pan is Dead blog “It’s a quality in pre-Colombian art or African art, related to simplicity, distortion, a sort of reductive abstraction that reaches to the essence of something. You know it by its estranging imperfection. The primitive was all around me when I was a child in Bolivia, the archaeological site of Tiahuanaco, for instance, and my father had an important collection of pre-Colombian artifacts…

The thing that is so intriguing is that we don’t know their arts’ purpose, anthropologist can only speculate about its meaning…

[And] Along with the enigma of their meaning, I’m fascinated by their present look, that is, the plasticity they have today, altered and damaged by time. Some of the drawings and paintings incorporate uneven cave wall surfaces into their design. I take from all of that, and make “my own” contemporary expression. Most importantly I am trying to capture their mood.

About Soria’s 2014 exhibition Totems Beyond Patriarchy at Houston’s Gallery M Squared the gallery’s Max Harrison wrote “She has captured omething deep seated within each of us, something that has allowed mankind to flourish and thrive. Examing Miss Soria’s latest body of work viewers will an opportunity to explore what it means to be sentient of self or what it is, ‘to be.’ I can’t help but think of the caves at Lascaux, France and how early man used imagery over 15,000 years ago to communicate their inner thoughts to others. Pictorial communication expresses concepts and ideas to viewers even when we don’t speak the language of the creator or story teller. What stories do we tell ourselves within the cave of self, and what story do we tell our children around the home fires?”

Soria’s current exhibition Essence: A new body of paintings is on show at Houston’s Archway Gallery until the 5th of November.

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