"Falling In...", New Work by Jessica Caldas
Beep Beep Gallery
696 Charles Allen Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30308
(404) 313 5722
Opening Reception Saturday, March 30, 2013 7:00 PM through 11:00 PM
From March 30 through May 4th Jessica Caldas's new prints will be on display at Atlanta's Beep Beep Gallery. The show called, "Falling in..." continues Caldas' exploration of domestic violence. The effect of violence is dramatic and complex on a person's psyche, something Caldas experiences second hand as a Domestic Violence advocate.
From her experiences, Caldas asks her self the question, “What if it was me?” and undermines the natural reaction: “that could never happen to me”.
This solo exhibition is only the most recent inquiry in this vein, for Caldas. Her previous work at Beep Beep Gallery covered similar topics documenting the all to familiar tools of violence. This time, she renders people, which the artist admits pose a larger challenge.
There is a fine line between spreading awareness of a problem in a sympathetic way, and exploiting the sensational nature of violence. Caldas is sensitive in a way only a person working in the trenches can be. The images of people in her work defy easy labeling. There are not good guys or bad guys in these images, but meditations on the loss of normalcy.
While you can pick out people in her work, these prints are anti-portraits. There are recognizable parts of faces, but the faces are turned in profile, cartoonishly schematic, or else literally rubbed away. In the sense of her technical process the faces of her characters are literally carved out blank in her block of wood.
The great strength of this work is how the process of print making complements the subject matter. The tonal values match the tone, with inks of blacks, browns, reds.The dirty, rust colors, bring to mind both the fresh and clotted colors of blood. The process highlight the artist's hand, with each cut of wood seeming personal and present.
A critical element to this work is Caldas goal: remembering the relationship between violence and love. It would be all to easy to show the drama of pain and the martyrdom of victims. However, the true tragedy is the way violence and love exists so close together. Family members are sometimes partners and other times predators, the duality is hard to dissolve in real life. The abstract layers of Caldas' prints, embrace this complexity.