Claire Oliver Gallery in Chelsea is currently presenting a collection of work by Lisa Alonzo for the exhibition Danger and Play. For her third solo show at the gallery, Alonzo unveils several paintings using molding paste and piped acrylic paint in the form of pixels to create the images which are surrounded by frames made from tiles. She uses this method as a way to soften the underlying message conveyed through her work. The themes throughout most of Alonzo’s work revolve around politics and current events with the idea that art can often be influenced by society.
In this latest collection of work, Alonzo examines immigration, race, gender, and culture. For instance, one piece entitled Apokalypsis, depicts four life-size chess pieces of men riding on horses standing on its hind legs. The pieces are lined up with two white ones on the ends and two black ones in the middle to illustrate racial divides. Behind them is a recreation of Van Gogh’s sky paintings.
Another piece that speaks volumes to convey racial tensions is Friend or Foe which is a close-up image of two life-size trophies in the form of two female dancers, one white and one black, pitted back to back. The notion of power is examined in one particularly intriguing piece entitled His Excellence which features Mr. Burns, one of television’s most famous antagonists, on The Simpsons. The iconic character is seen glaring ambitiously and longingly at a golden king chess piece figure to illustrate his greedy, overwhelming desire for wealth and power. Behind him is a wall inspired by subway graffiti in Berlin.
Some of the darker and more violent works on display include Waste and Waste 2 which profoundly conveys the evil forces of war and destruction with black and white target designs combined with explosions of fire and remaining ruins of countries that can be targets for terrorists.
Lisa Alonzo’s works are featured in many prestigious public collections including the United States Federal Reserve, Washington D.C. and the 21c Museum, Louisville KY. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. At the Claire Oliver Gallery, 513 W. 26th St., through Feb. 25. The gallery is open Tue.-Sat. from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.