Carla Arocha’s exhibition will consist of eleven new works. Five large abstractions, each unique, were made by applying small color ink dots on white leather in a sparse pointillist pattern. A monumental curtain was constructed of hundreds of Greek crosses cut from reflective Plexiglas, assembled with custom S-hooks and hangs across the length of gallery two. One untitled painting on display was made by applying hundreds of dots of gold varnish to a gold ground on linen. A carefully crafted floor piece appears to be made of shattered mirror reassembled into a large rectangle. Also included will be two mirror panels with printed images of Chris Farley as El Niño on them.
Carla Arocha’s work looks at the reception and assimilation of Modernist abstraction. It has been described as transparent, gossamer and as made from gaps in visual reality… It has been compared with partial and snow blindness, an eclipse and with Schrödinger’s cat, each an example of presence and absence, simultaneously. Trained as a biologist, Arocha’s work is absorbed by cool observation and by a personal human investigation.
The exhibition, entitled Chris, was developed from a found image of the scene of the death of Chris Farley’s, a former star of Saturday Night Live. Farley, found in his 60th floor apartment in the John Hancock Center in Chicago, was seen shirtless, arms outstretched, holding a rosary. The cause of death was an overdose of cocaine and morphine, (his weight being a contributing factor). Mr. Farley was a devout Catholic and prodigious entertainer and a drug addict. In an analogous way Arocha’s work employs a combination of the spiritual, the decorative and the dark and unseen. The artists meticulously crafted, “shattered” mirror piece evokes a fractured, fallen self, while her curtain constructed of interwoven crosses asks the viewer to reflect upward, drawing them through spectacle toward a sense of immateriality (Like a cocaine high, spiritual and all consuming yet vapid and solitary). The biological view of Farley’s addiction is that of an incurable brain disease; Arocha’s modernism functions similarly in that, left alone, it ultimately consumes the mind, body and spirit.