Ivana Quezada / Jason Luper : Dual Artist Exhibition

July 13 - August 31

- This is a dual artist exhibition. Ivana Quezada makes intricate and stunning abstractions in charcoal medium. Jason Luper shares his pop-esque oil paintings in surrealist spirit.

Ivana Q:

"My current exploration is to create an impression and extension of real space in ambiguous settings that contain forms reminiscent of recognizable things to give the viewer the opportunity to interpret freely the meaning of each work. I am inspired by natural movements and systems, forces, and forms, specifically celestial objects and nebulous forms. I aim to create new visuals of ambiguous forms and not reference any one thing in particular, but to give the sense of an initial substance of matter that does not have any definite shape or state of being. Protomatter is this ultimate basis of physical substance, before it has been given form.

Contemporary painter CT Nelson developed the term Non-Objective Realism which he explains as “the feeling of something real, yet far away from reality.” This idea of creating work that is not based on anything real and specific but still appearing as something that could exist in this world is the primary objective for my work. I am influenced by the idea that through ordinary shapes, colors, and lines one can establish a sense of transcendence, that is clear of any objective subjects. I want this idea of abstraction and purity to convey a sense of emotion equal to that caused by encountering representational work; so my focus is on creating an atmosphere rather than a narrative.

This project depends largely on the presence of opposite yet complimentary components, both conceptually and stylistically. I aim to achieve a balance of distinctiveness and ambiguity in the technical features of my work, namely in the compositions, values, and presence of light and darkness. More importantly, my focus is on the duality of the familiar and the unknown.

I want the viewer to experience an exploration into unknown areas, being pulled into each work through the vague familiarity present in each scene, and to keep that interest through the unsettling feeling of experiencing something new and strange. By creating unrecognizable textural abstract forms that imitate reality to an extent there is an exploration and a discovery into each work that can allow for a place of contemplation in the sublime, where terror and beauty coincide."

Jason L:

“Sometimes there is a dream that isn’t quite remembered, yet glimpses of it seem vaguely important in the morning, and we try and recapture the moments in our mind. Every time I sit down to paint I try to collect those fragmented memories and highlight the qualities that speak to me the most and I consider my work a jumbled kaleidoscope of personal experiences. The little shapes behind the penguin in Finding the Way Home comes from the pattern on a set of chairs I owned at the time, the dumpster in Trash Panda can be found in downtown Riverside, An Anthill in Rome is literally an anthill in Rome that my niece and I watched for a few minutes while killing time, and TJ’s Beta fish… was the beta fish of my son, TJ. Nothing is exceptionally important, yet everything comes together to create a sum greater than its parts.”

Repeated Symbols

Bubble Gum Despite having so much randomness in the work, there are themes and occasional messages that bubble to the surface. The Double Bubble candy comes up quite a bit and I think of it as a symbol of naivety, a symbol of innocence, of blind hopefulness… good intentions that run surface deep.

Animals I prefer using animals in place of people because they are so much more accessible to the viewer and varied in shape, texture, color and size.

Guns Firearms have a near supernatural force, with shockingly little effort anyone can take the life of another, as such they wield enormous symbolic weight. I confess I don’t know exactly what, if anything, I am trying to say with them, but I do enjoy using the imagery.

Ships Sailing vessels are great symbols of freedom and adventure. Whenever I feel like showing that exploring is happening or potentially going to occur, ships are an easy symbol to use.

Trains I see them every day while driving, and I love the graffiti on them, they are big utilitarian machines that have been converted into roving art galleries. They are pretty much just stuck in my head at this point.

At the end of the day I treat my painting like visual music, I don’t know why certain colors, shapes and symbols play well together but I have a sense of what “sounds right” and I trust my intuition."