“It’s about the journey, not the destination.” The truth behind that familiar verity is the engine behind the show “Venturing,” the tandem show of Ivy Floresca and Maan Nueva, on view at Art Anton starting Oct. 6. Curator is Ambie Abano.
The works of two women artists exhibiting together, responding to a moment of enlightenment, convey a keener and deeper understanding of their particular gender, as they encounter throughout their lives certain events, experiences and individuals privy to their situation and condition.
Photographer and artist Floresca is engaged in an almost mystical and spiritual relationship with nature and uses her camera’s eye and pictorial visions in a transfiguring manner. In Floresca’s photographs, one senses what a poet once described as “a divine defiance against the coming darkness.” Her cloudscapes, with evanescing light streaking through a gathering gloom, are not only heavy with rain but with foreboding and incipient grief. Even her craggy boulders, rising like funerary epitaphs above a stream of water, appear like guardians of the underworld. A male version of Shakespeare’s drowned Ophelia floats, face upwards to the merciless skies. Admirably, Floresca has a gift for capturing the understated image that overwhelms.
Through her silk-screen paintings, with their porous transparencies, Maan Nueva sets her abstract forms on a surface unbounded by illusions and dimensions, allowing her to create an aesthetic space of delicacy and intimacy. More beguiling are Nueva’s portraits of a woman whom the viewers may construe to be the artist’s “other self.” But that is par for the course when an artist engages her own personality and sensibility, drawing from her inner life, and thereby deliver a narrative of one’s life-voyage. Nueva deploys womanly devices such as a mask to conceal her private demons, or a rose to signify by turns the seductive power of a woman and her frail vulnerability at the altar of love.
Kudos to these two women—Ivy Floresca and Maan Nueva—for venturing out of their self-absorption and keeping in abeyance the darkness of their fears.
“Venturing” runs until Oct. 18. –CONTRIBUTED
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