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Oscar de las Flores, A Brief History of the Western World, Chapter 2

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Morgan Lehman Gallery
535 West 22nd Street, 6th floor, 212-268-6699
Chelsea
January 10 - February 23, 2008
Reception: Thursday, January 10, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site


Working mainly with traditional pen and ink on paper, Flores generates masterful figurative works, elaborately layered, that incorporate grotesque imagery with the beauty of sinuous lines. His drawings depict figures, both real and imagined, that tell the story of an unending battle between society’s powerless and powerful. With a dark sense of humor that is Flores’s own, his work also shows the influence of generations of artists, integrating the grace and detail of early masters with the imagination of the Surrealists.

Though the content of his drawings often display a clear narrative, it is rare that Flores begins a piece with a plan for its full resolution. He may have a theme in mind at the start, but prefers to allow each drawing to develop itself, each figure or symbol deriving form and meaning from the one before it, until a narrative has found its way onto the page.

Flores is driven extensively by his surroundings. He is clear in voicing the use of his art as an outlet though which to comment on the condition of the world around him, and believes it is his duty to do so. Flores comments, “I, like Orozco, Goya or Kollewitz believe in the need to directly portray that which is inhuman and immoral in society as well as that which is compassionate and true in order to wake in all of us a sense or urgency at attending humanities’ most pressing needs in a times when greed and rapacious hatred becomes ever more predominant.”

Born into an era of Civil War in El Salvador, it is from a young age that Flores has been exposed to the volatile relations between the public and “unchecked powers.” Because of his background, it is with special interest in Latin American history that Flores began using his drawings as a tool with which to communicate his ideas.

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