Centuries before #YOLO (You Only Live Once), artists frequently referred to the transience of life to viewers, prompting us to consider our own mortality. In doing so, they used memento mori: an art that recalls the inevitability of death, forcing viewers of these symbolic works to reflect on their own lives.
Viva La Memento Mori will reveal the unique and introspective techniques that artists use to tackle themes that contemplate both life and death. The intention of the exhibit is to highlight the value of our lives as individuals going through a time of unimaginable loss, encouraging a moment to reflect and document all that this recent period of uncertainty has brought to our lives. lives. The open appeal will serve both to document these memories and also to allow artists to express a vision that is sometimes provocative, even somber.
This exhibition will examine the many ways artists have interpreted human mortality and how the memento mori tradition continues to inspire contemporary artists to this day. By creating a dialogue that investigates the fleeting nature of life, we can embrace an awareness of impermanence that increases our appreciation for the present moment. Yet while the symbols present in these types of images relate to the natural world, the unsettling feeling that lingers long afterward in the mind’s eye marks the true power of the art of alluding to what is found. beyond the grave.
Alexis Mendoza is an artist; a writer and freelance curator currently living in the Bronx, New York. Mendoza graduated from the National School of Fine Arts in San Alejandro, Havana, Cuba in 1988, and received a Masters in Art History from the University of Havana in 1994. Most of his work is are focused on painting, sculpture, drawings, installation and printmaking. . His works have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, England, France, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. . He is co-founder and co-creator of the Bronx Latin American Art Biennale and a founding member of BxArts Factory.
Alexis Mendoza is part of a generation of Cuban artists who create art nourished by the belief that artistic creations could present a form of utopia, expressing a kind of independence an inversion of the original premise that led to the Cuban avant-garde and serve as a model for a new society. In Mendoza’s paintings, orientation and direction are all put on hold. Putting aside the basic and familiar attributes of things, Mendoza discovers the essence of the presence of color. Color is the matrix of memory, and in it, images emerge, with utopias and their denials. By radicalizing the representation of the object, presence makes it possible to apprehend time. Mendoza records this knowledge by describing the mutual invasion of color and representation. Black painting, style and term, was established in Cuba in the 1950s by Guido Llinas, a prominent Cuban abstract painter, printmaker, and member of the Eleven Group. Alexis Mendoza’s studies of black paint are based on the philosophy and creations of Llinas. Although the predominant color in Mendoza’s paintings is not black, he found that the overlap and transition of colors metaphorically reflected the use of these colors in Afro-Cuban practices and rituals.
This exhibition is a collaboration between LIC-A and AHA Fine Art.