Arturo Sanchez intensifies his flirtation with the avant-garde in Fragmented Memory, a textured pastiche of fears bubbling from a modern man's mind in the wake of economic, natural, and nuclear crises.
Sanchez layers image upon image, medium upon medium in order to create a powerful visual crescendo. Around the pensive slump of a man sitting with legs crossed on a floral-patterned couch, a collage of random images falls like rain. These bubbles—paintings within a painting—are cutouts reinterpreted in oil by the artist.
Rendering these vignettes, whether mushroom cloud or astronaut floating in space, was a difficult exercise in control and detail for a painter used to depicting a single central image. Sanchez confesses that Fragmented Memory, his first serious experiment with color, was a challenge owing to its composition.
Punching through these paintings within a painting is a web of more than 20 convex mirrors that have become the artist's signature. Inserted into each mirror's reflective surface and sealed in with lacquer are clippings from magazine articles on madness, including vintage photographs from Sigmund Freud's treatise on hysteria.
Heightening the unsettling quality of these images are the distorted, fisheye reflections from Sanchez's mirrors, which he has used to great effect in previous works. The varicolored canvas, infused with yellow and orange instead of the artist's usual muted sepia or monochromatic palette, is a new and welcome development.
In Fragmented Memory, Sanchez reaffirms his commitment to free association, stream-of-consciousness image-making, and the Alice-in-Wonderland power of mirrors.
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