Sexuality and death are interlaced seamlessly with the latest works of Pat Andrea for his show “IRREALISM” at Bertrand Delacroix Gallery. With an internationally acclaimed forty-year artistic career, Andrea presented his magical realist and neo-expressionist works with skillful and colorful depictions of men and women in the ever sensual dynamics teetering between life and death.
His rendered female figures are derived from his fascination with Argentinean women. The females are drawn with limber long legs that sometimes dwarf the torso or just the enlarged heads with loud expressions emblazoned on their visages. Andrea’s women are full of vibrancy as their passion brims over and punctuated with ecstatic facial contortions or the demure façade but bodies writhing in a heated dance. There is an antique and historical style to the women in his paintings. The very angelic faces in their neat hairstyles but disheveled clothes with at times exposed breasts or bare bottoms provide a dichotomy that is electric to behold. In L’Annonciation (2010) the composition is set in the traditional subject of a religious scene of the Virgin Mary kneeling in front of an Angel announcing her special fate. In Andrea’s version, the Angel is wearing a tight white tee and covering up her nether region with one hand while the woman kneeling before her clad in only a blue cardigan gets zapped by an x-ray beam from the Angel’s chest straight to her exposed vagina. Is this a perversion of the religious ideal? Not necessarily as it can mean the pure ecstatic joys in the dynamics of sex when women are life creators. Modesty in the white clad Angel and brazen sexual prowess on the other side are devices that Andrea employs in his work that is clever and meant to titillate the viewer. His renditions are evocative of turn of the century illustration but the color sense with its subject matter drives a contemporary hammer on the nail head. One painting that jolted everyone is of a rabbit (the symbol of fertility in several cultures) seems to come out of a woman’s derriere. Again, the bold insouciance is part of his oeuvre and each canvas in their massive scale thrusts a visual impact comparatively to anyone’s libido of having a big finish but little deaths.
Andrea sketches from his fertile imagination and in doing so creates tableaus of sexual dioramas of our base nature. Creation and sex are the basic tandems of what life is all about. In culminating it, we experience “la petite mort” or “the little death” for a climactic end. Pat Andrea is playful and honest in showing these with his paintings. For that, you can die a little death and whittle away those prejudices that prevent you from seeing the big fertile picture.
Pat Andrea: IRREALISM / On View: October 4 – November 3, 2012
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (10 am – 6 pm)
Bertrand Delacroix Gallery. 535 West 25th Street. NYC, NY 10001
art review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
images from Bertrand Delacroix Gallery courtesy of the artist
event photos by: DeukyunHwang