Vital Signs by Maries Mendiola
With femininity and its strength as the central framework, Anxestral Gallery invites us to the first exhibition in Seattle of the Mexican artist Maries Mendiola, who through 26 unique pieces –all extraordinary drawings– tells us a different story in each image; stories of love, innocence, longing, pain, desire, and even violence. Stories of women powerfully viewed from the perspective of another woman, and which recreate for us in surreal symbolism the depth of the feminine image in current and diverse contexts, of women as a vital sign of our era.
An artist statement:
On the plane, a point that marks a necessary tension. Two points already make a heartbeat, a basic rhythm for the from which the lines sprout, which, like arteries move full of energy and curiosity in a journey that describes and records an emotional moment of reality, and precisely there the watery stain that hydrates, oxygenates, accompanies, and revalues the vigorous nature of those records; the point, the line, and the stain are the “vital signs” of my work.
Investigating the “vital signs” in the formal values of drawing allows me to create metaphors of reality, sometimes friendly and bright, sometimes dark and cruel. From structural and symbolic elements I build a parallel reality to talk about the time I have lived through. The exploration of human nature through the body, mostly that of women, including girls and boys, but also that of animals, which are company, reference, and mirror, is a narrative tool of the feminine universe in its magic and power, but it is also a denunciation of the devastating and unsustainable risk of being a woman in our society.
In the infinite pleasure of creation, I conceive of dreamlike metaphorical images, where a sense of necessary responsibility towards that same society, towards that possible spectator dwells. To leave something for it. Although it is only a residue of its original reading. Something that invites you to reflect, to a thorough exploration of the image; to see just beyond what is apparent, where message, concept, and plastic qualities make it possible not to leave the viewer indifferent during a distracted and fleeting look at the vertiginous visual offerings provided by the frivolous speed of the internet.
To get the viewer to stop these days, and to enter into the image, think, and reflect on essential and survival issues in a pleasant aesthetic experience is a subversive and almost glorious act on the part of the creator of that image. That glory is what I would like to achieve as a plastic artist.