Naturaleza Muerta brings together the work of 5 emerging Mexican painters: Javier Areán (1969), Lilia Basulto (1982), Javier Peláez (1976), Rafael Rodríguez (1977) and Omar Rodriguez-Graham (1978).
The exhibition began as an invitation for Omar Rodriquez-Graham to guest curate a group show of artists from Mexico City. What Mr. Rodriguez- Graham has instead proposed is a kind of symposium. The works to be exhibited are products of an ongoing dialogue among the artists, all of whom are grappling with and complicating a seemingly straight-forward problem: the act of looking at the world and constructing an image from it. His statement:
Naturaleza Muerta is not a curated exhibition. It is the product of an ongoing exchange that attempts to find common ground surrounding the idea of representational painting. Among the greatest forms of western art, painting is simultaneously burdened with history, and enriched by it. We recognize images on the multiple levels of perception, personal experience, and awareness of our cultural history.
While each artist has approached this idea in his or her own way, we have found an intellectual cohesion through a shared approach to painting that is principally concerned with its construction and history. We share the view that what must be seen is not that which lies within the painting, but what is on the canvas, in that fuzzy region between pure formalism and the influence of the real. We believe that to talk about painting, one must paint. The resulting works are our conversation.