Ruiz-Healy Art is pleased to announce Neo-Surrealism & Magic Realism. The exhibition includes dreamlike and figurative works that reference and react to the current political and ecological context; fantastical visions, mythology, and magical thinking influence the genres. Featured artists include: Juan Alcazar, RF Alvarez, Bruno Andrade, Victor Chaca, Juan de Dios Mora, Pedro Friedeberg, Luis Gal, Irma Guerrero, Roger Von Gunten, Rodolfo Morales, Katie Pell, Gugger Petter, Jose Luis Rivera-Barrera, Shinzaburo Takeda, Leticia Tarrago, Patssi Valdez, and Bettie Ward.
Neo-Surrealism, defined as a revival of the Surrealism literary and artistic genre, seeks to emulate the complex and often irrational visions of the unconscious mind. As seen in Katie Pell’s dreamlike Waiting for You, in witty René Magritte fashion, Pell channels the sky and connects with surrealist themes of liminality. Pell described her work with "Some of us build our own mythology out of our environment, our desires, and our own furious defiance at our genetic mediocrity. I hope my work can ignite or describe the excitement of our pointless and forgettable lives, and reaffirm the value of our gorgeous desperation.”
Sculptural works by Pedro Friedeberg pay tribute to the roots of Surrealism. In Homenaje a Sigmund Freud, Friedeberg honors Freud’s psychoanalysis theory, a source of great inspiration for Surrealists. Combining the old, the new, and the strange, Friedeberg creates a composition using a gilded wooden rocking horse and a red and blue bust of Freud nestled inside a wooden frame with feet.
Friedeberg further references Freud by blending dreams and reality in this imaginative, mixed-media piece. In traditional Surrealist fashion, Friedeberg states, “Who knows what one does or why? I think of my work as a pastiche. There’s a little bit of everything I like in there.”
Magic realism combines real world narratives with magical and fantastical elements as seen in Irma Guerrero’s painting Viento y Agua (Wind and Water), where Guerrero uses nature as a symbol for beauty and balance. Guerrero reveals a personal moment between hummingbirds that reflects the whimsical world that exists all around us. Wind and water play a valuable role as they create mysticism of alchemical proportions, and create magic within the canvas.
Patssi Valdez's paintings and graphics are brightly colored and often emotive with a sense of magical realism woven in. In Cactus Queen, Valdez captures an indigenous woman dressed in an ornate red gown and cactus crown who stands in a desert landscape framed by saguaros, prickly pear cactus pads, and the night sky. The illusion of a frame creates a sense of theatricality and pageantry, in which this empowered woman reigns supreme. A Chicano art icon, Valdez has been internationally recognized for her pioneering artwork that uses magic realism to reject negative representations of the Latinx community. The artist states, “Nothing in the world is static. Nothing is solid. Everything is always in flux and in motion.”