May 23, 2009

Jesse Lott and Javier de Villota

After breakfast this morning, David and I decided to check out the exhibit at The Station Museum, two one-man exhibitions, including: Jesse Lott and Javier de Villota. Both artists reside in Houston, but de Villota is from Spain. We got lucky, because the exhibit was extended by a week or so, and we managed to see it, just before it closed.

Jesse Lott: detail of wire sculpture - photo by Finijo

This piece is truly magnificent. She is a little more than life-sized, Amazonian in stature. Using the copper wire for her hair was inspired and she looks as though flames are bursting forth from her head. She gives the impression of being some kind of a warrior goddess ready to either comfort you in her outstretched arms or call forth forces at her will to vanquish the unworthy in her presence.

Jesse Lott: Dragonfly photo by Finijo

I found myself drawn to this delicate dragonfly made from wire and other media. It has a lyric quality, and it seemed almost out of place amidst the gruesome components of the exhibition that I was about to encounter as I walked through the museum.
Jesse Lott: wire sculpture - photo by Finijo
I love this sculpture, it reminds me of Where the Wild Things Are in 3-D. He is monstrous, but also whimsical. I am going to have to make a point to seek out Jesse Lott's exhibitions in the Houston area, and hopefully in other cities, as well. I really enjoyed his work and the fact that he uses found objects and he recycles discarded material in his work.
Javier de Villota: De-Humanization Echo photo by Finijo
At 12 X24 feet this acrylic and mixed media mural takes up the entire wall where it resides. The lighting and scale make it difficult to photograph the work in its entirety, but each piece within this mural makes a statement against man's inhumanity and references ever thing from Darfur and the Killing Fields to 9-11 and the Holocaust. The work is on a grand scale to try and encompass subject matter that is epic.
Javier de Villota: Detail of body on gurney - photo by Finijo
This detail is one of the most stomach turning things I have ever photographed. It is the depiction of the desimated corpse of a man who was killed in the massacre in the market in Sarejevo in 1994. As repulsive as this image is, the artist, Javier de Villota, is using a super realism to show the horror and inhumanity of murder. I had to remind myself that it would be impossible for him to make the scene disgusting enough to give museum visitors a true glimpse into the nightmare of what really happened that day. While I don't want this piece in my home, I applaud de Villota for his unflinching vision.
Javier de Villota: El Mercado de la Muerto photo by Finijo
Instead of showing the tableau in its entirety, I have pulled detail from this piece. The work is very graphic and I think it is difficult to take the whole scene in. I found that I was as drawn to this work as I was repulsed by the violence of it.

The Station Museum decided to reconstruct the extraordinary tableau, El Mercado
de la Muerte, representing the artist’s reaction to the slaughter of civilians
in Sarajevo during the l994 war. Its message about the horror of war is a
universal. This acclaimed work was exhibited in Madrid in 1994. It is a three
dimensional painting in the tradition of Goya’s Disaster’s of War, but it is
more than an expressionist recreation of a tragic event. The exploded,
brilliantly painted corpses are anonymous and serve as a reference to every
bloody event caused by explosive devices, such as, military bombardment or
roadside bombs.

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