Sunday, February 21, 2010

JAVA: Mosaics & Paintings - March 3-31, 2010

"Still Life", acrylic on canvas

Mosaics & Paintings
March 3rd - 31st, 2010
Reception: March 11th, 6-8P

Franklin 54 Gallery + projects is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings and mosaics by JAVA. A lover of “breaking china”, JAVA has mastered the use of these broken pieces in creating colorful and fun imagery. Mosaics go back more than 4,000 years and the process is a physical one; the actuality of breaking up pieces and juxtaposing them together for a composition is intriguing and self-involving. Irregular chipped surfaces and edges dominate as the materials are carefully adhered to the surface. As the artist notes he appreciates the mosaics as he is able to fix what has been broken.

Staying within this realm, JAVA’s paintings have a primitive, Cubist quality but again are quite involved and color continues to be important. Each one tells a story and here there is much symbolism to build on. “Still Life” is a colorful piece titled appropriately. The asymmetrical faces are sadly confrontational and the 2 tilting sideways become part of the still life. The lying figure’s head becomes enmeshed in the fruit and the chest almost becomes the outside of the watermelon on top. Color is lush and the simple thick handling of the paint heightens the texture and works well for this artist. In contrast to the mosaics, his paintings have a deeper more serious side.

JAVA is a self taught artist, born and raised in Cuba, now living and working in Brooklyn. Using recycled materials in his mosaics and sculptures leads him to endless possibilities as he continues the exploration with these new works. His attitude of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is a wonderful one that he takes seriously in his dedication to the work. He has completed many commissions both private and public including portraits, patios and a recent commission in 2009 for National Payroll Week. Works have been included in exhibitions in Cuba, Italy, Miami and New York City.