Mixed-Media Floral Art by Carla E. Reyes

On view: June 3 – June 24, 2010

Mention of “Flower Power” typically conjures up images of lithe, long haired hippies donning tie-dyed frocks and peace signs.  However, not unlike this term–born during a decade defined by social upheaval and transformation – Carla E. Reyes’ “Flower Power” alludes to a more substantial process and practice.  A confident, self-motivated, and passionate creator, Reyes has the uncanny ability to transform an everyday motif (such as a flower) into a commanding presence through the experimentation, rigor and touch of whimsy inherent to her creative process.  Typically grounded in her curiosity and appreciation of the natural world, her work encompasses an earthy, tactile and sensual quality that engages the mind–as it tries to decipher her process and materials–and the senses–as they compel the viewer to wholly engage with the physicality of the piece.  As a skilled manipulator of materials who effortlessly blends natural materials and man-made objects, Carla complicates this so-called contradiction by creating a fluent exchange of textures, associations and perceptions.  So much so, that the man-made and natural often become intertwined or simply, indecipherable.

I was made well aware of this tricky exchange on my last visit to the artist’s studio following the “Flower Power” debut at Yashar Gallery in June 2010.  Utterly beguiled by her luscious surfaces and general command of the materials, I was surprised to learn that the images of the flowers depicted had actually been culled from an extensive portfolio of images the artist retrieved from the Internet.  The expressive, robust and, at times, fanciful images I had assumed were solely fueled by semi-romanticized visions of the natural world were actually artful reinterpretations of digital renderings (themselves at least once removed from any “natural” or, at least, original source).  The artist’s diverse collection of floral imagery, in fact, ranged from the inoffensive “garden-variety” to the macabre displays that accompany neglected gravesites and obscure, unidentified locations.  In effect, the viewer’s association with fall, rust, tarnish, moss, sunlight and mist, for example, were prompted by Reyes’ clever handling of a trite dichotomy called into question by the complexity of her process.

Although perusing this catalogue does not compare to a visit to the artist’s studio (you’ll often find her steeped in paints yet eager to discuss her latest projects over refreshments), I warmly invite you to reinvigorate your senses by learning more about Carla’s work, process and ebullient spirit in these upcoming pages.

Krista N. Saunders, Independent Curator
Brooklyn, NY

***The full color exhibition catalogue including essay by Independent Curator, Krista Saunders (G-Train Salon, NURTUREart) to be released fall 2010, stay tuned…

Read the exhibition press release.

@Brooklyn Art Studios, 276 Greenpoint Ave, Bldg 1, Ground Flr, Greenpoint, Brooklyn