Alonsa Guevara’s ‘The Calling’ reminds one of the rich, desperately reliant (mostly on our part) and invaluable relationship between humankind and nature. The oil paintings that are featured in this exhibition are urgent and confronting, but most of all a celebration of colour that stimulate all 5 senses. The opulent and oozing sights give way to illusory taste and smell; an eager craving for fresh tropical fruits and flowers overwhelms.
Amongst others exhibited are ‘Call of the Passionflower’ and ‘Call of the Watermelon.’ These circular paintings are from Guevara’s ‘The Callings’ series, the exhibitions namesakes. Both paintings are approximately 60” in diameter and hold one in magnetic pulls to their core. The sphere is symbolic of infinity, the unending circle of life. Once you are immersed in these surreal and hypnotic works, it is a challenge to come away. But before you do, the artist asks you to pay careful attention to the centre of the artworks. It is here that Guevara has hidden words that answer her most pressing question: “What have people learnt over the last couple of years?”
Other works that feature in this impressive demonstration include a regal self-portrait of the artist when she was pregnant, and a ceremonious duo ‘Jeny’s Crown’ and ‘Jael’s Crown.’ All subjects are endowed in fresh fruits and flowers, and appear floating, angelic. Guevara has explored and investigated “patterns, shapes and images that have appeared during my dreams, meditations, and experiences with plant medicine,” and documented the result in luscious oils. Consequently, the paintings subjects appear pulsating on planes of higher consciousness and in transcendence. The figures at once emerge from, and obscure amongst intertwined elements of nature, emphasizing the oneiric quality of the imagined world they inhabit.
As she did when the pandemic hit, Alonsa Guevara invites us to escape with her from Brooklyn to the Catskills Mountains, or from Paris to the Ecuadorian rainforest on a healing and joyous journey to nature.