Valeri Larko and Rodrigues Calero shows two distinct versions of city life. Larko looks out at the fringes of the metropolis where the city’s refuse and expanding infrastructures impose on the natural landscape. Rodriguez Calero looks behind the outer shell of hip-hop culture, into the soulful and emotional human pulse of our society. The artists will be present at the reception to discuss their work.
Valeri Larko’s representational paintings of decayed industrial sites depict a collision of urban culture and its surrounding natural landscape. Working on-site, Larko’s ironically serene paintings, which are bathed in atmospheric light, present a juxtaposition of beauty and pathos that emerges from contemporary society’s assault on the environment. Larko’s paintings are intimate and enticing, as they reveal the beauty and potential in forgotten urban wastelands. Her subjects are areas around the New York City Metropolitan area, including the New Jersey flatlands, New Rochelle (where she now lives) and sites along the Bronx River in the South Bronx. Her intention is to alter our perception of mundane places and objects by alerting us to the spaces in our peripheral vision.
Through a unique painting technique called “Acrollage Painting”, Rodriguez Calero reconfigures the character and personality of our popular culture, by literally and figuratively snipping away at the human pulse of the city. The transcendent effect she achieves, through a mixed-media combination of transparent acrylic paint and cut paper, allows her to elevate the ordinary into iconic stature. Rodriguez Calero’s signature style of glazing and stenciling luminous and metallic colors, interspersed with cut paper of magazine images, offers an inspired and symbolic depiction of urban people in their everyday lives on the streets of New York. Juxtaposing these two artists’ works in adjoining galleries presents a play on the “looking in/looking out” dialectic that together offers a pyridine shift on how we see ourselves in our contemporary lives.