Okuda San Miguel's Mayan Renaissance

Apr 01, 2017 - Apr 29, 2017Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles

On Saturday, April 1st, 2017, Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles will presents Madrid based artist Okuda San Miguel in his US debut exhibition, Mayan Renaissance. Okuda’s exhibition features a new series of his vibrantly colored synthetic on enamel paintings, sculpture, and tapestry. Okuda's distinctive style of geometric harmonies, emboldened with intense colors, makes his artworks feel like they're from a parallel universe.

Rainbow geometric landscapes blend with organic shapes, headless animals, figures, and personal iconography. His eye-catching large-scale murals and sculptures can be found in cities around the world, and his approach to fine art is just as diverse. Featuring elements of embroidery, collage and wood, Okuda’s art expresses what he describes as “an insatiable thirst for creation.” Throughout, Okuda addresses questions about existentialism, the universe, the infinite, the meaning of life, and the contradictions of the false freedom of capitalism, showing conflict between modernity and our roots.

In his new body of work, Okuda offers his personal reinterpretation of classic imagery through a contemporary lens. A recent visit to Sicily brought Okuda face to face with the masterpieces of sculptors
like Bernini and Jean-Pierre Cortot, inspiring him to reinterpret their historic figures. He aligns them with characters of Greek mythology, and modern faces of politics and pop-culture, like fashion model Cara Delevingne and rap group Die Antwoord, reborn in Okuda’s bright, prismatic world: “In this more mature period in my career, travelling and painting around the world is one of my most important sources of inspiration. Getting to know and understand the different cultures that surround us has given me the sensibility to express common situations but always from a positive and colorful point of view.”

“My art reflects my love of metamorphosis. Playing with shape and form, I highlight this juxtaposition within my characters, mixing up their shapes and personalities. I paint my faces with geometric patterns to show equality among the different races, placing all skin types on the same level; multi-colors symbolize multi-culturalism,” Okuda shares. “My works always have a touch of some recognizable elements; for example, eyes are painted with the black and white of the cosmic universe. I use colors as a symbol of life and the natural world, whilst the grey scale in my paintings represents cement, death, dust and the material of classical sculptures. I am constantly challenged to find a harmonious balance of the grey scale with my vibrant palette – I need to create to be happy, and feel alive. Art is the meaning of my life.”

The opening reception for Okuda will be hosted Saturday, April 1st 2017, from 7-11pm.