Friday, 3 November 2023, 18:32
When you open the doors to Casa Sostoa in Malaga city you are immediately greeted with the first two “unsettling” gazes, along with four firm footprints on the table. They are in fact the footprints of Patricia Paz, a Malaga-born artist who recently unveiled her most ambitious exhibition where she mixes ceramics and paintings for the first time. The exhibition is being held in Casa Sostoa, the home of Pedro Alarcón and Cristian Mellado.
The exhibition, Western Stories’ is part of the Moments Festival programme, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year with more than 180 activities.
At this exhibition, an “unsettling” journey, followed by the gazes of the characters, causes the viewer to walk from one end of the exhibition to the other without even thinking about it.
Walking through the exhibition, faces stare at you. “It is a declaration of intent, something more intimate. The gaze is deeper,” the artist said.
The characters in the paintings invite you to follow their eyes and walk from one side of the room to the other: from Looking for Hope, passing through Smile and We’re in LA before arriving at Retrato de vaquero (Portrait of a cowboy) and Retrato de una mujer (Portrait of a woman). There is even a Mona Lisa infiltrated among her paintings “with her magnetic gaze”, as the project coordinator, Pedro Alarcón, explained.
Paz explained that it is an exhibition for your eyes: “Iwant people to approach the painting and see that things are happening.”
There are sentiments obvious throughout the exhibition. “I tell very profound stories, all the colours are vibrant but you can see the difference between the pieces from last year and this year. The ones from last year have more pink, pastel colours, green, light-blue... in the ones from this year the colours are darker, such as blue or red. Often, I discovered how I was feeling by the colours I used to paint... I tend to use the same palette, but through panting I realised what I was feeling; through the faces I was painting I was able to reflect how I felt in that moment,” she said, as an explanation of the feelings seen in pieces such as Past and Present or Caballo en Llamas (Horse on fire).
There is a story in the exhibition. “An important part [of the exhibition] are the characters, they can be invented or inspired by something, but they all have a reason to be. Every character is part of a play,” she said.
There are individual stories, like in Tacos de Canasta Beto CDMX, which highlights a woman she found in a photograph from her trip to Mexico: “I felt uncomfortable because I didn’t see myself in that place, just like I saw how that girl in my photo felt. That’s why I wanted to emphasise and give importance to her in that painting. That is why I wanted to highlight her in this painting,” revealed the artist.
There is personality in the exhibition. “When I am painting the purest form of me comes out,” she said.
She put on her first individual exhibition in 2020 and since then she has had a signature style without realising it. Her ideas revolve around cowboys, even if this wasn’t intentional, and many already identify her work by this theme.
“The cowboy aesthetic has never been something that I have been obsessed with, but it was part of my first individual exhibition and for me it is like a puppet, in that I can play with the idea and construct a story,” she explains about her most distinctive style to date, as identified in paintings like Looking for Hope.
There is consistency in the exhibition. “Here I want to convey that I am serious, I want people to get involved with whatI am saying [in the paintings]. Iam not painting for the sake of it, and I don’t create characters arbitrarily,” said Patricia. As with everything in life, there are days when she feels very inspired but “others where she has no idea what to do”, she said with a smile.
There is new innovation in the exhibition. “I took around a year and a half working with ceramics and I wanted to include my creations,” she said. There are six pieces, among them various Bota Cowboy (Cowboy boots), which demonstrate her ambition to continue learning.
There is a whole universe to discover within Patricia’s exhibition, with everything for sale. As she said herself, “I am going to get naked and tell you a story. But, I am warning you, I will not take off my boots and I will not get off my horse until it ends”.
Until 26 November, the artist will be high on her horse, with her boots on and ready to enjoy the show, which has already left her mark on Casa Sostoa.
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