ANGELL GALLERY is pleased to presents RAFAEL OCHOA: OVERWROUGHT, a series of new digital paintings. The exhibition is on in the east gallery from August 22 to September 27, 2014. An opening reception will be held on August 22, 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
While Rafael Ochoa’s digital paintings may broadly be categorized as Post-Internet art, they occupy a distinctive territory within this genre, distinguished as they are by the artist’s singular technique and his creative remix of imagery drawn from pre-20th century art. Like many artists whose careers began in the last decade, Ochoa scours the Internet for inspiration, honing in elements of Old Master paintings that catch his fancy — a gesture here, a face there. Using these diverse sources as models, he builds from scratch new forms, using a complex and labour-intensive rendering process he has been developing over the past seven years.
While references to art history have been a constant in Ochoa’s work, the images in Overwrought reveal a deeper engagement with the look of painting, as simulated brushstrokes articulate forms in painterly fashion. The series’ title references the
Baroque sensibility of the imagery, as lush still lives and swooning and praying figures evoke the sensuality and drama of historical artists ranging from Caravaggio and Murillo to the great Dutch still life painters.
Overwrought is also a play upon “over rot”, a reference to the seasonal theme apparent in Autumn Quinces and Romantique, where the fleeting quality of beauty is signified by fruits and vegetables teetering on the border between fulsome ripeness and the edge of decay. In Man With Black Hat, a weather-beaten elder beseeches the heavens for the rain that will foster new growth, even as his own life progresses towards its finale.
Yet with all these nods to art of the past, these are decidedly new and contemporary images that by necessity reflect a Post-modern self-awareness. As Ochoa builds his forms, subtly twisting, tweaking and fusing elements, they take on a life of their own, encompassing the beauty and passion of the past, while acknowledging the anxiety of the 21st century.
Rafael Ochoa holds a BFA in Photography from OCADU and an MFA in Visual Arts from York University. Ochoa was a featured artist in both Simulators exhibitions at Angell Gallery, and his work has been highlighted in Toronto Star, NOW Magazine, BOOOOOOOM! and High Fructose. BlogTo named Ochoa one of Top Five Toronto Artist to Watch in 2014.