ARTisSpectrum | Volume 29 | artisspectrum.com
15
M
ore than a half-century of armed conflict, unrest, and
bloodshed in his country has informed Dominican artist
Carlos Hidalgo
’s distinctive style. His compositions are arresting
and haunting, and draw on scenes he witnessed regularly in the
streets during successive coups, repressive regimes, and a civil war.
Jarring though this imagery can be, his paintings remain technically
exquisite and formally masterful, drawing viewers in with incredibly
intricate figures whose forms are deconstructed into geometric
fragments. The resulting aesthetic evokes Picasso’s Cubist works
and de Kooning’s Expressionist nudes, though Hidalgo’s hybrid of
those styles unleashes a dynamic storm of lines and colors that
manages to be beautiful while embodying the pain and suffering
that shaped it.
The artist’s oil paintings typically portray solitary figures or pairs,
their contours sharply defined, their component parts spinning,
swooping and pointing outward at jagged angles. His choice of
palette adds another layer of dynamism to each work, ranging from
kaleidoscopic patterns to darker compositions dominated by murky
blues, dark grays and black. There is a palpable sense of exuberance
and resilience in all his works, though often matched with a kind of
scarring, a sense of frailty that makes each piece absolutely gripping.
Cazadores de Serpientes Oil on Canvas 50” x 40”
Carlos Hidalgo
L
aura Bedard
’s thoughtful works defy simple
categorization – they are neither painting nor
collage, neither abstract nor representational. Bedard
draws inspiration from that which has only been
made visible recently, using technological means:
distant galactic bodies and microorganisms. The
mystery of and apparent visual similarity between
these two realms have led Bedard to methods that
imbue her work with as much interdependence and
unseen movement as a star system or a colony of
bacteria.
The artist first prepares paper with an ink wash, then
builds up translucent acrylic paint and collaged
paper to create an “environment” unique to each
piece. Among the ghost-like washes of earth tones,
Bedard scatters both splashes of warmer colors – carefully calibrated to complement and draw out the tonal atmosphere
of the individual work – and textured paper. The resulting work is outstandingly subtle and constantly moving between
dark and light. The actual shapes present are indeterminate, resembling an amoeba as much as a star cluster. More
important is the shifting depth, as these shadow-worlds dance in and out of the reach of human knowledge.
Bedard lives and works in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She describes her work as the creation of “the feeling, space, and
fluidity within our bodies.”
Membrane #2 Ink & Graphite on Paper 10.5” x 17”
Laura Bedard
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