While there was not exactly an excess of Hot Art Action going on in Chelsea this past Thursday, I am ecstatic to report that abstract/pop artist Omar Chacon is back at Margaret Thatcher Projects with a fun new collection of works entitled Las Mesalinas y Otros Ensayos. I had the chance to reconnect with Chacon at the opening reception and can say that he is just as charming and saucy as he was when we met previously at the opening of his second show at Margaret Thatcher, Bacanales Tropicales, which was more than three years ago now. Wow!
This show contains pieces that emulate the style of the those paintings found in Bacanales Tropicales, colorful works that Chacon compares to a social gathering or, on a larger scale, a nation; comprised of a diverse blend of culturally different peoples, living amongst each other with a sense of unity, yet maintaining individuality. To me, these concentric ovals look like layers of many different colored eyeballs.
Above and Below: Details from Mesalina Tropical Plateada.
Each oval and drip is prepared separately, off the canvas, and is unique. Chacon then applies and collages each piece onto canvas or paper, building intricate and harmonious compositions.
Mesalina Dorada and Detail, Below.
Chacon has also added paintings created from many layers of dripped paint. Introducing deeper shades of gold and purple, he draws inspiration from the traditional imperial colors of the Roman monarchies, and he explores the delicacy and power of the monochrome, with works such as RT Mesalina .
RT Mesalina and Detail, Below.
Rich with subtle movement and variation throughout, these works showcase a fresh layer of complexity. While Bacanales Tropicales referenced the wild and festive spirit of the god Bacchus, the artist continues to draw energy from the history of Greco-Roman excess. The exhibition’s title refers to Valeria Messalina, the third wife of the Emperor Claudius — who was executed after she married her lover while Claudius was out of town. The raucous tales of her exploits, real or exaggerated, fascinate Chacon as they have writers and fine artists throughout the centuries.
Ensayo Espacial and Detail, Below
I asked Omar how long it takes him to make one of these paintings, and he said, “About three days.” Crazy.
Here he is posing in front of one of his paintings, which is called Nimaima. This exhibit is up until December, so you have no excuse not to check it out!
Omar Chacon’s Las Mesalinas y Otros Ensayos will be on Exhibit Through December 19th, 2015 at Margaret Thatcher Projects, Located at 539 West 23rd Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.