Mexican artist Alfonso Barrera presents his first solo exhibition at Hecho Gallery, featuring a collection of paintings produced in 2023, along with a selection of drawings and prints. Through a bold and surreal style, and incorporating diverse elements such as animal symbolism, landscapes, and references to history of Mexican Art, the artist portrays some of his personal experiences in Oaxaca, where he is based.
Although other powerful symbols are depicted in these artworks, including snakes, rabbits and eagles, owls are the most prominent figures in the show, as they are “rulers of the skies”, as the artist puts it. Owls are a recurrent theme in his recent work, coinciding with the fact that Oaxaca is one of the Mexican states with more species of these birds. “To me, they are The Night Hunters, and a metaphor for the passage between life and death”, he says. Not only does he feel identified with this animal, he also relates it to one of his aesthetic references: tenebrism, a 17th Century European style of painting, which used darkness to emphasize light. “Owls are creatures that have clarity of sight in the dark. A great part of my work is related to the search of light, as a reflection of your own existence: to highlight your inner light through embracing darkness”, he points out.