David Richard Contemporary, Santa Fe’s newest abstract gallery, opened this past Saturday June 19 with a double exhibition, a series of works by Paul Henry Ramirez and Future Natural by Beverly Fishman.
Both exhibitions feature sugary abstraction characterized by a neonish pop-art color scheme loud and tempting enough to pull you in off the street and ring in your head long after. SFR
stopped by the press preview held hours before the gallery’s public opening to see the bright art and artists.
Ramirez describes his Spin, Chunk, Swash and Punch series as “many parts but one body.” All of the work bears a similar palette but also attributes of its series' title. The abstractions in Punch for instance, feature the same colors, though this time wedged into corners, ostensibly trying to "punch" their way out.
Most intriguing is the Spin series, in which gallerygoers can literally spin the silkscreen-on-linen works.
"Why can’t you touch and move paintings,” Ramirez asks. Clad in white gloves,we did just that, making new pieces out of old.
Whereas Ramirez' work is activated by human touch, Fishman's work is a representation of human life.
Her acrylics and enamel on polished stainless steal that greet gallerygoers upon entry represent life through the lens of technology: EEG and EKG scans,
double helixes. Fishman, who used to do work based on the life she found in microscope slides but has changed her tracking of life based on advancing technology, uses a mix of both templates and her own hand in these scans to ironically add the human touch back into abstractions of human life.
“I don’t think technology should be without the body and mind," Fishman says.
Seemingly relegated to a windowless room at the back of the gallery for its subject matter is the most tempting of Fishman's work, the Pharmako series: office-clock-sized renditions of ecstasy and pharmaceutical drugs made from cut-wood molds filled with colorful resin.
Illicit ecstasy pills made in basements and sanctioned pharmaceutical drugs made by multimillion dollar corporations share the walls due to their similarities.
“They both brand pills so you’ll be loyal. They want brand loyalty,” Fishman says.
Iconic images such as skulls and crossbones, cartoon characters and dollar signs found on varieties of ecstasy Fishman equates to the well-known
Valium V and Viagra's diamond shape.
The highlight of this series happens when the lights are turned out to reveal a room full of glow-in-the-dark smiley faces, icons and symbols,signifying the often-psychedelic nature of the drugs and, in a way, the addictive nature of the new gallery.Future Natural by Beverly Fishman
New works by Paul Henry Ramirez
Through July 17
David Richard Contemporary
130-D Lincoln Ave.