Last Saturday and on time for Halloween opened ‘Tiempo de brujas’ (Witch Time) Spanish artist Sara Sanz’ most recent exhibition at Plasticmurs gallery in Valencia, Spain.
Tiempo de brujas.
Although there were not costumes to see this time, the attendees were ready for a magic night in company of Sara Sanz’ allegoric and surrealist characters, here presented through a series of portraits that clearly show the artists fascination for enigmatic dualities like the naïve and the evil, the friendly and the sinister which in this occasion highlights the dichotomy between the magic and demonic aspect inherent in witchcraft playing with the prejudices connected to it. From the press release:
When Edouard Manet presented his celebrated work ‘Olimpia’ at the Salon of Paris in 1865, the reaction it aroused couldn’t have been more reactionary. What enervated the machismo of the time – in fact, as could happen in any period – was neither the fact that it was an undisguised portrait of a prostitute; nor that the young lady lay naked on an rumpled bed; what caused the stir was that this woman posed in a proud attitude, confidently fixing her stare on the the spectator. As if that were not enough, the symbolic presence of the orchid in her hair or the black cat at her feet — trying to define her dark and sensual personality, provoked angry comments from the public and criticism of the time which considered her as a primary, despicable and evil being.
Such use of allegories, symbols and written messages as a way to psychologically and socially define the character is exactly the way artist Sara Sanz has been increasingly doing throughout her artistic production. The usual duality of her airbrushed women, halfway between naïve and evil, between friendly and sinister, between weakness and strength—unequivocal characteristic of pop surrealism, the series Tiempo de Brujas adds a rich symbolic universe used to (auto)define the complexity of her characters. Taking as its starting point the dichotomy between magic and the demonic inherent in witchcraft, and the pejorative use of the word witch to point out an “evil woman”, the artist has developed a complete gallery of female portraits that delve into such deep issues as social stigma, fear of rejection or the desire for a less sexist, less hostile, less prejudiced society.
A series of portraits that draw the viewer into the elusive inner world of Sara Sanz’ witches: women that not only hold our gaze but also not budge when it comes to letting their fears, their insecurities; and their contradictions emerge. — Javier Garrido
Tiempo de brujas will run until December 5th at the gallery located on Calle Denia 45, Valencia, Spain.
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