In a new series of large format paintings titled Genesis: Creation & Decadence, Erick Sánchez invites the viewer to share a vision of the Genesis, the time of sacred beginnings. A series firmly grounded on abstract expression, it is an attempt to reveal what is immemorial. Returning to his penchant for visual catharsis, while openly embracing a taste for the epic and grandiose, the impact of this new work retains depth without compromising the passion that characterizes his larger paintings. The ebbs and flows of the artist’s energy reflect careful premeditation in a balanced combination with spontaneous execution.
A significant aspect of the Genesis series is the bold use of colors, which until now had been relegated to a monochromatic palette in combination with the frequent use of earth and ochre tones. Feverishly traced and embedded in layers of mineral pigments, the deep marks made by Sánchez are like calligraphic scars. The diffused placement of biblical verses is a recurrent motif that adds to the scriptural tone of the series. The use of high contrast draws attention to the paired allegories prevalent throughout the Bible: good and evil, sacred and profane, love and hate, light and darkness – creation and decadence. Direct references to specific verses guide the viewer’s interpretation, resulting in an engaging experience apt for the current presentation in a church.
In Sacred Times, Erick interprets the fourth day of the Creation with a choice of materials that reveals a process grounded on a desire for the highest quality of materials available: acrylic, emulsion, calcium carbonate, glitter, carbon, copper leaf, bronze, graphite, glass beads and pigments on canvas. The square format conveys a sense of balance and symmetry. Genesis -1:14 reads: Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years. And God saw that it was good. Sanchez’s intense colors emerge from a pitch black backdrop full of cosmic drama reminiscent of the best images the Hubble Telescope has captured of gas nebulae and the deepest recesses of space. In Let them Fly Over gestures define the silhouettes of birds while also echoing flapping wings with intense dynamism. In contrast, …and he saw that it was good (Gen 2:2) brings together texture and pure abstraction in representation of creation as an ethereal process.
The complex list of materials used by Sánchez often reads closer to that of a chemist. It is for this reason that his work is akin to that of an alchemist exploring the binding of pigments and minerals in novel combinations. It has often been said that every true artist seeks to replicate the Act of Creation through their work. Undaunted by the ambitious task of visually interpreting the Creator’s original actions, Erick offers an heroic and inspired glimpse into an immense universal vision. This vision carries within the seeds of revelation – the semblance of truth eternal.
The ~curARTorial LAB
event photos by: Max Noy