Alonsa Guevara @AnnaZorinaGallery

Alonsa Guevara – Espiritu
At Anna Zorina Gallery, NYC

Upon entering the gallery there is a palpable sense of lushness. A cacophony of colors and the smell of ripened fruit compete for influence on our senses. Tall canvases line the wall containing gorgeous life size paintings of young women, silently holding our gaze, and covered by cut fruits, vegetation and a variety of small birds and animals. These enveloping objects act as sentinels as we enter an encompassing ritual. We have entered the world of Alonsa Guevara, a young Chilean artist residing in Brooklyn, NY.

The ceremonies center on fertility and the promise of renewal each spring. These are rooted in pagan allegories as old as the human race and through appropriation, retold in each new society’s beliefs and cultures. Guevara’s childhood was spent in the rural farmlands of her native Chile. Fascinated by the popping sounds of overripe watermelons exploding in the fields, as methane gas built up inside the decaying fruit.

In much the same way, her work explodes from the surface of her canvases into a plethora of sculptures hanging from the walls utilizing clay, stones, seeds, human hair and feathers. In the center of the main room stands a 6 1/2′ tall installation comprised of real fauna, fruits and vegetables which was allowed to – shall we say – over ripen during the shows month-long run.  So that’s where the scent was coming from, this was as much a statement on the endurance of the fruit as the gallery staffs’ fortitude!

This is only Alonsa’s second show with the gallery, and I look forward to seeing how her work grows….. yes, pun intended.

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