María Fragoso: El jardín entre tus dientes @ 1969 Gallery, NYC
In Seeding, María Fragoso presents the viewer with a doubled portrait, as two figures raise gloved hands, water spouting from their mouths. Their elbows rest on a clothed table littered with objects such as pomegranates, snails, and a conch shell—an arrangement evoking the ritualesque—as Fragoso’s twin subjects perform an ambiguous act in an undefined space. In the foreground, two more red latex gloves enter from out of frame, suggesting the ceremony’s significance may lie beyond the scope of the representable. To mouth presents the bodies of two masked figures interlocked amidst flora and fauna. Shells and fruits are once again strewn across the foreground, signaling that Fragoso’s canvases share a common, illusory setting. This landscape becomes subject in Decadencia, un solo sabor a fruta madura, a not quite still life in which snails slither amongst bruised apples, cracked egg shells, and tie-dyed oranges.
In Fragoso’s work, notions of realism and naturalism are eschewed for the surreal, as the artist engenders a space of pure symbolism, where fantasy and the uncanny can take form. Such a space privileges the personal over the universal, as Fragoso mines the subconscious for fears, desires, and their representations. Fragoso’s smooth, fleshy forms are rendered with considerable depth, and each scene is meticulously framed, allowing for full absorption into the artist’s evocative dreamscapes.